U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: oil printing

Re: oil printing

Chris said:
A book that is really good on Demachy is Robert Demachy by Bill Jay.

Judy said:
Oh boy/girl did I hate that book...
I'll give you another story on Jay you might like, then: I have an unnamed former colleague who went to study under Jay for graduate school. At the end of the graduate school experience he went up to Jay and told him that "You are NOTHING what I thought you were and I benefitted NOTHING from you." Or something to that nature. So apparently Jay had some issues. Or my former colleague did.

Nevertheless, female trite nudes notwithstanding (editing Demachy's nudes out of a book on Demachy would be disingenuous) , what is good about Jay's book is the research on Demachy in one place and all of the reprints of the articles by Demachy so one doesn't have to go back and forth between Camera Work and other magazines to see exactly what Demachy said in the first place that has been quoted by others--e.g. the thickness of gum that he used which was said to be "twice as thick" as others. So Jay may be a jerk but the book is still good.

I have more issues with Jay and Hurn's book On Photography...

Judy said:
Oh boy/girl did I hate that book... had it or saw it or read it in the long long ago, but still recall some of his truisms, not to mention all the naked ladies that Jay found in Demachy... Now, in fact, checking my review of Jay's book "Ockham's Razor" (in P-F #2), I find:

"I admit not having heard of Jay until 1989 when he failed to stop himself from distributing the message quoted next paragraph. Since then, I have failed to stop myself from observing his predilections. Jay's book, "Views on Nudes," would be better called "Views on 20-something Female Nudes," since that's what it is, with the exception of a very few blurred, small, side or rear views of men. His book on Demachy would be better called 'Demachy's Female Nudes with a Few Other Views Thrown In'.... However, his interest in women with their clothes on seems limited. His book, "The Photographers," has 88 bios, only two of which are for women, and they, it turns out, are not themselves photographers, but service providers helpful to Jay personally..."

The "next paragraph" I referred to quoted Jay on the subject of the Women's Caucus of the Society for Photographic Education, when in 1989 he distributed a paper at the SPE convention accusing them of "scurrilous feminist propaganda, vulgar remarks and savagery... [a bunch of] teeth clenching revolutionaries... a nasty little pimple on the face of photographic education [and not] real artists or real photographers." True, that wasn't a shining moment for SPE, but conditions for women in academia pre-women's caucus were blood curdling.

Sometimes, however, Jay was an equal-opportunity insulter... for instance, explaining why "So Few writers on Photography are worth Reading" (aside from himself of course), he says "photography does not tend to attract those with the most brilliant minds and criticism is primarily a mental activity. [That is,] most photographers are not mental heavyweights." And so forth. My own comment, after wondering where his ideas on photographers' mental weight came from (his students? his friends") was that "the photographers I know seem noticeably brighter than the run of other profssionals, as do even a few photograpy writers."

However, that's not what I meant to say, which is that my next-- or next after next -- e-mail will be a list of oil printing references... and FINALLY to mention that MANY photographers have in old age, or post-photography life, turned to sketching, drawing &/or painting.

For instance Cartier-Bresson and Lartigue are two who come immediately to mind. There have been many others, in fact I've been struck by how many photogs, including Demachy did just that...