Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.

Getty

Current Project

 


Printed in 2009 with no rights reserved and may be reproduced in any media, electronic or otherwise, with or without permission and with or without credit. Our lives can't be bought for gold, nor sold to the devil. So steal any image that suits your fancy.



Photographs


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       



Text

Introduction
   2009



It began at 1954 Cold Canyon Road in Calabasas.
      Friendships were built upon a passion for photography, in a way that only the truly obsessed take for granted. There was no generational gap between the older hermit and the young artists. It didn't really matter at the time that the rest of the world couldn't care less about color photography. If you were crazy, you were destined to visit the Millers; the likes of Outerbridge, Hass, Weston, Current, Norma Jeane came before us. Margaret cooked and added her two cents worth as Dick held forth from his world headquarters at the dining room table. The Getty chapter began in 2007.
      We decided that Richard C. Miller's 75 years in photography should not end up in the local land-fill, as prestigious as it is, bubbling methane less than a mile from the Getty.
      Dick was an old friend and mentor of ours, a decent person, a generous friend and a sweet man, so we slid down that slippery slope that began with trying to rescue Dick's archive and legacy from trash collectors and garbage trucks. Dick carefully guarded his treasure-trove. Over the years we itched to go through all his prints and endless drawers of negatives, but Dick let it be known subtly that this was his stuff. When we finally got to go through it all, we were astounded by the breadth and quality of what this man had recorded with a camera.
      We started simply, a portfolio or two, scanned his prints, sold his collection of Weston prints out from under his feet to a rapacious photography dealer for less than no consideration at all, and for less than less than zero no help at all. But, finally, we contacted the Getty and Frances Terpak came and lusted after Dick's archive, which led to a cherry picking session by Weston Naef and Michael Wilson, which turned into an exhibit curated by Paul Martineau which took a year and a half of innumerable visits to the Getty. Fortunately for us, we always got TOH (top of the hill) parking or we would have been even broker than we already are.
      On these joyous occasions Reece and I took a garbage can load of photographs because that is what we do and because we had nothing better to do. An artist does what he does because the doings of the rational mind mean less than blind obsessions and marginal beliefs. The legacy of Calabasas.
      We ran around the world trying to sell Dick's photographic legacy. We went to Tucson to the Center of Creative Photography. While Reece drove through the sweat hot night, I shot a lightening storm on the desert rim. I screwed up the exposures, so I ended up with bupkis. After a couple of thousand exposures in Tucson we sweat our way back through Blythe in July. Then we piled into my 1990 three-quarter ton Chevrolet van and charged up to Monterey to see Dick Garrod and Kim Weston, then up to Santa Cruz to see Charis Wilson. There was no one who would speak to us in San Francisco but we met up with Dick's daughter Jani who treated us to steaks and cocktails. We came home, staying in the cheap-Johnny motels, burning Vallero gas, and taking pictures to the left, pictures to the right.
      One bright and cheery day we built a ramp for Dick's motorized wheelchair. Loaded him into the van and took him to his appointed reception at the Getty – mirrors slapped, shutters snapped, pictures ensued. Something over 211,000 people saw Dick's pictures in the Getty exhibit. A startling success even by Getty standards. It was our goal to put a smile on Dick's face, and we did that, but it made us the happiest of all when Dick cried, seeing his life's work validated and hanging on the Getty wall.
      Sometime during all these adventures and photography safaris the economy died a horrible, gasping death. Our timing, as always, was earmarked by the sublime. Since we worked for free we did not experience a decline in wages. Call us visionary; we were well ahead of the pack when the economy went into free-fall. We kept on keeping on and we took pictures everywhere we went; Reece with his trusty SL-66 that used to be Brett's and me with my Nikons and 6x7's and the various digital cameras.
      There is no end to the snapping of shutters. Dick would understand.
      We thought so highly of Paul Martineau and all that he has done for Dick that it occurred to us we did indeed have something to do with all the film we exposed. So we printed this pile of pictures that span from 2007 through 2009 relating to our Getty adventures. Now, all we have to do is present them to the Getty as a gift that documents the impressions of a couple of photographers, still crazy enough to keep clicking the shutter whether or not we have some place to put them, or even have some deep dark purpose to put them to … say a seminal series of nose pickings.

Nature abhors an empty wall.