July 2014




Artist’s Statement

I became a photographer because I realized, after some early attempts at painting, that photography was a more pleasurable process, and the results were far more satisfying. I love the hunt, and I love the countless visual surprises and aesthetic pleasures that a photograph offers for so little time invested. Of course we all know that photographs are not “real life.” The decisions I make on the computer, to “burn” and “dodge” or saturate or tone down, are crucial to the result I want, not the virtuosity of what happened. I am by no means a purist. Some of the photographs in this series, for example, are actually composites of several photos combined into single compositions that create (hopefully) a more powerful and appealing result. All of them have been taken over the past seven or eight years here in North Carolina.




I was born in 1947 into a family of artists. My father was a regionally well known sculptor and department chair at Wayne State University in Detroit, and my mother was a painter and art teacher in the Detroit public school system. From as early as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed making art in one form or another.

In 1964 I received a four-year scholarship to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I majored in graphic arts and graduated with honors in 1968. During the next several years I worked as an art director and illustrator for several corporations and ad agencies in New York. In ’72 I thought I wanted to teach art and so I went back to Pratt for an MFA. I was offered a job at a university in Georgia, but by 1974 the reality of leaving the city for a small college town had lost its appeal. And so after graduating, I worked as a commercial photographer and graphic designer for various ad agencies in Manhattan, and in my spare time developed a personal body of photographs. I exhibited in several New York galleries, including Robert Gurbo’s 10th Street Photo Gallery and Harold Jones’ Light Gallery on Madison Avenue. I was also an exhibitor in “10 Downtown”, an annual show of artists living in Soho.

In the early 1980s (sparing you the personal details) I left my loft on Canal Street and moved to Concord, New Hampshire. I remained a graphic designer and photographer, but I felt pulled toward a more contemplative lifestyle. I became a certified Kripalu yoga instructor and yoga therapist. Professionally, I found my niche as a graphic designer for non-profit organizations including museums and schools. Personally, I was becoming fascinated by the amazingly beautiful order of the natural world and my photographs reflected that interest.

In 2004 my wife Debbie and I moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where we live near our three children and three grandchildren. We have recently created a greeting card company that, in addition to income, provides an outlet for some of my more humorous photographs, www.masalacards.com.