Missing a Friend & Mentor - Juan Manuel SánchezFriday, October 06, 2017
|Juan Manuel Sánchez - Vancouver circa 2001|
One of the most influential mentors of my life, Juan Manuel Sánchez died yesterday, one year ago. Sánchez, in fact was the most influential person in my artistic life, something that I have come to understand in the last few years.
Before I met him in the waning year of the 20th century I considered myself to be a very good and efficient commercial and editorial photographer. It was Sánchez who pushed me to accept that I was an artist, too.
With his wife (Argentine like Sánchez) Nora Patrich we embarked in a series of personal and collaborative projects that had me in contact with them every day. They lived nearby here in Vancouver so we drank mate, talked on the phone and in person and discussed projects.
My almost 10 year collaboration (until they split up and returned in separate airplanes to Buenos Aires) produced thousands of negatives, slides and Polaroids. I could fill large stadiums with that output.
All that enthusiasm and alegría is gone. Some of it lingers with Nora Patrich (she comes to Vancouver about twice a year) as she is ready to embark on anything. In fact we are having a joint show (her stuff, my stuff and our collaborative stuff) at the very nice and one of the few real galleries left in Buenos Aires called Galería Vermeer. Our show is to be in August 2018.
Patrich and I are I weekly contact with WhatsApp deciding what to put up and how to make some collaborative work that is brand new.
At the very least when Sánchez was alive I never took him for granted. I knew how lucky I was. I saw him not too long before he died and when I finished my café cortado in the corner café near his house and we said goodbye I almost knew it was to be for the last time.
I remember his crooked smile, his gentle ways, his calming voice but more that anything in days when I feel useless (obsolete – redundant & retired) I can keep going knowing that my admiration for him was reciprocated.