My Art Work
II started this journey of becoming a photographer in 1959 when I developed my first roll of black & film in my basement with my mother's salad bowls. I made spending money in high school shooting and selling portraits of my class mates for 75¢ for a b&w 5x7 print. I opened my first photography studio in 1972 on N.W. 2nd Ave in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown. It was here that I also explored the art side of photography as member of The Theater of Afro Arts, while working as a commercial photographer.
After relocating to Atlanta in 1975 in began shooting the Black theater and dance companies in Atlanta and teaching photography at the original Georgia Ave Neighborhood Art Center. It was in Atlanta I took my first art class from K Joy Peters and had my first solo exhibition at Atlanta Community College. The next stop on this journey was a move to Los Angeles in 1984 and becoming a photographer at Inner City Cultural Center, photographing the theatrical productions and the up and coming actors; many who have made a name for themselves on stage and back stage.
It was living in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area and becoming involved with the visual arts communities that gave me the final push from commercial photographer to fine art photographer and now visual artist. In 2003 I embraced the technology of the digital darkroom to use computers and software in place of the wet darkroom in the manipulation and printing of my images. Then in 2006 I made the switch to my first digital camera to capture images and now I work with film and digital cameras, including an iPad to create the images I see with my Third Eye.
For over twenty plus years I worked as freelance commercial photographer, a contract studio photographer, commercial photo lab technician, a performance photographer and a photojournalist. It was as a photojournalist, shooting on the streets of South Central Los Angeles in 1990 covering another senseless drive by gang shooting,t hat I decided I would no longer record the deaths of young Black men to help sell more newspapers .
I began the transition to becoming fine art photographer/visual artist by returning to school in 1993, attending El Camino Communtiy College in Southern California and then attending Cal State San Francisco University as an Art Major.
It was during this period that I discovered printmaking, mixed media construction and sculpture. it was also during this time that I began exhibiting and sell my images at street art festivals. national art expos and opening my own gallery called MooBoo Gallery: An Alternative Exhibition Space. I was located in Oakland and I also managed JLathan Gallery, which represented artist from East Africa.
Photography will always be my primary medium of creative expression, with the addition of these and other creative mediums used in the process to bring my visions from my Third Eye into existence for others to experience.