Two Out Of ThreeFriday, October 12, 2012
This story is weaved (see addendum below) around so many other stories that I almost don’t know where to begin.
But I will take my friend Les Wiseman’s advice to, “Never start at the beginning but somewhere in the middle and then work both ways.” His advice has served me well in the past.
Somewhere in the middle, then, I was at the Marble Arch hotel some years ago with the then-not-yet-quite famous Bif Naked. We were sitting watching the strippers. She over a beer, me over a soda water. The owner of the establishment, Tony Ricci, with that big smile on his face came to greet me. I introduced him to Bif who was wearing a tight black T-shirt. We had a chat and that was that. Now by then Bif had an impressive set of tattoos on her left arm. A few days later I ran into Ricci who questioned me,” Who was that girl with you, who had that impressive chest?”
Ricci I believe may have asked me in a crasser manner but this blog has some rules of good taste, I believe. What struck me as strange is that Ricci never noticed the tattoos.
I was a year or two before that I had been called by my friend writer, punk bank impresario, and white collar crime investigator (pretty well singlehandedly brought down the Vancouver Stock Exchange) Adrian du Plessis. Du Plessis had a friend and he wanted me to mentor her in photography. I reluctantly said yes. This is how I met one of my best photographic subjects whom I would call (with an apology to Edward Weston) my Tina Modotti. I did give Nina Gouveia some lessons but I quickly realized, most selfishly that it was better to have her in front of my camera. I photographed Gouveia for many years until she left Canada for Southern Spain where she resides with her cats, chickens, etc and teaches yoga.
On another evening I was having another soda water with Bif (over beer) at Sam Sorich’s Cecil Hotel (sadly gone to accommodate a soon to be finished squeaky vertical concrete establishment that will not feature beer and women of loose dressing habits). One of the waitresses (the term server was yet to be uttered by anybody) was a friend of Bif’s. After her shift was over she sat down. This was Jennifer Froese a beautiful woman with a sad streak on her face.
As so many women I ran into in those days before I became the shy recluse that I now am, I invited Froese to my nearby studio on Granville and Robson. It, the studio has been demolished, and it will soon be a vertical concrete establishment that will not sell beer or feature women of loose dressing habits).
red shawl project.
In this project, which features people I know from many professions, I have about 30 up in this blog and ten in the can. I am in wait with those ten until my subjects send me copy (an essay on anything).
My inspiration came from the photographs of German photographer August Sander who for a bit more than half a century in the beginning of the 20th photographed all the walks of life in Germany, from the lowest to the highest. He showed an uncanny objective respect for his subjects. I marvel at these portraits and wonder why he is not better known.
If I were younger (and with money) I would be looking for a gallery and or a grant. I believe that these pictures with their matching essays represent a rich archive of our city.
But I must now take Wiseman’s advice and work my way to the end. I have no idea where Froese may be these days. Perhaps she will see the pictures here, contact me and send me an essay. I would be thrilled. Soon Gouveia will send her piece and those who are reading here will delight in her sensual elegance. And, I will keep my fingers crossed, that the third person featured here might find time to pose for me in my mother’s magical red rebozo.
Addendum: Generally, the simple past tense is "wove," and the past participle is "woven." This is when one refers to weaving cloth or a basket. However, when referring to cars weaving in and out of traffic, the correct past tense is "weaved", e.g. the cars weaved in and out of the line of traffic. Merriam-Webster-Dictionary.