Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lenny Leaving

Homage to Lenny

Lenny Foster has left the building. Arguably Taos’ most successful photographer pulled up stakes last January and took his show to Saint Augustine, Florida. I'd joke he's looking for the fountain of youth but he doesn't need no stinking fountain. 

On Saturday, August 5 he returned to our arid environs for curtain call and a one-year retrospective he called “El Año Pasado” held at Magpie in the Overland Sheepskin Complex. As you would expect, the joint was rocking with friends and collectors hoping for a second chance to say goodbye to the last celebrity artist since R.C. Gorman left the planet. Good luck with your futile attempts to get face-time with the man of the hour. Dude was a freaking rock star.

Local photographers have mused about Lenny’s contribution to our little community and to our image as a place to find, dare I say buy, good photography. Lenny had become the face of Taos photography over his 23 years here; all respect to Geraint Smith, Bill Davis, Zoe Zimmerman and a host of able shooters.

One friend, the noted photogravure practitioner, Cris Pulos, went so far as to wonder if Lenny’s departure signaled the end of the photography era in Taos. My not entirely tongue in cheek response was, “No, because there’s never been a photography era here.” This a painter’s town, chico. He’ll be missed as will his beautifully curated and hung gallery near the corner of Main and Main. It’s a simple as that. And we are left with a blight of an operation in his old space; one that is an affront to our artistic sensibilities. We are not pleased.

Up top you’ll see my entirely derivative riff on Lenny’s “Healing Hands” series; the one that put him on the map. Those are Lenny’s two fingers holding his brown fedora with five dreadlocks hanging into the frame. He's wearing Ryan Michaels if you must know. He 's nearly as well known for his threads and dreads as his thoughtfully composed, spiritual confections. 

Poignant image, no?

And, finally, this image and a dozen or so others along with a similar number of Peggy Immel's paintings will be seen at the "Immel + Immel: Our New Mexico" show that opens Saturday, September 2 at Wilder Nightingale. See you there.

3 comments:

Daryl Black said...

Obviously, I did not check in to your blog mid-week to see your sky drama from Miami, New Mexico. Although it would not seem so, both the "big" Miami and our town on the plains have a couple of things in common. Great open vistas and massive thunderstorms. You caught this one well, Steve. Also, your photograph and narrative about Lenny Foster, and his place in the Taos photography scene are great. Taos is a painter's scene, but there are one heck of a lot of photographers out there so I would not say there is no photography scene in Taos. Congratulations on your upcoming show on 2 September. We'll plan to see it!

Steve Immel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geraint Smith Photography said...

Me thinks thou doth presume too much.