For most of my years at National Geographic, I didn’t see the photographs I made until arriving home after months in the field. By then my photo editor would have reduced a 20,000 image shoot to a few small stacks of slides. I always promised myself I would do a careful re-edit but, over the 35 years, nearly 400,000 photographs were delivered to my studio while I was off on other projects.
About a year ago I finally began wading into my archives to select and organize images for a retrospective. Of the many qualities that makes a photograph speak to me – a sense of place, moment, touch, emotion, nostalgia, drama – it is the sense of story, that, “Hey, what is going on here?” that most often draws me in to look deeper.
The exhibition at Pucker Gallery opening December 1st begin an exploration into my story-driven images. Please drop by the gallery to see this work-in-progress and let me know what you think.
Photographs by Cary Wolinsky
240 Newbury Street
1 December 2018 through 6 January 2019
Saturday, 1 December 2018
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Thursday, 13 December 2018
6:00 PM - 8 PM
Gallery talk by Cary Wolinsky
My very good friend - and one of the most talented people I have ever met - Cary Wolinsky has an exhibition opening soon in Boston. I asked Cary to forward me a number of the images that will be included in the exhibition as well as a few words about each one. I think they are amazing and I am looking forward to seeing them in December.
Cary’s backgrounder on the exhibition as well as exhibition details are posted below.
Image above: Medinet Habu Temple Luxor, Egypt, April 10, 1997
Medinet Habu, the giant Mortuary Temple of Ramses III, sheltered the entire population of Thebes during the Libyan invasion of the late 20th Dynasty and, for centuries afterwards, protected the Coptic town of Djeme. A restoration team allowed me to climb their scaffolding to photograph from a high angle.
Image above: Pie Stand, Quartzsite, Arizona, January 29, 1999
Eight months a year Quartzsite, Arizona, is a vast empty RV park. By mid January, 175,000 RVs cram into 79 trailer parks and spill out 15 miles on either side of the town as a million Snowbirds settle in for the winter. Having done well selling pies, a vendor closes her stand at the end of the day.
Image above: Silent Toads, Queensland, Australia, September 25, 1998
The cane toad was introduced to Australia from Hawaii to control cane beetles. Not only did the poisonous toads fail to control the pests, they showed an amazing capacity to reproduce and spread.
Taxidermist John Kreuger discovered the souvenir market for Cane Toads, Bufo Marinus, when a "biker" had him stuff a couple of leathery amphibians to place atop a wedding cake. The cake was displayed in the bakery window and orders for stuffed toads came rolling in. Children help John catch toads during the first few nights of mating season which coincide with the first rains of the wet season. A good picker can collect 600 toads a night. John tries to get 10,000, enough for a year, in three nights. The animals are chloroformed, frozen, skinned, tanned, stuffed, shaped, dried in the sun, varnished, mounted on wooden stands and sent to souvenir shops in Queensland and New South Wales.
On the day I arrived John had sold the toad business to a young couple. "I'm just sick of skinning toads!" he shrugged .
Image above: Shadow of the Kremlin Moscow, Russia, August 16, 1988
The Alarm Tower and Kremlin wall cast long shadows on the cobblestone pavement and the people walking home from work .
Image above: Barley Wine, Chibuzhai, Sichuan, China, October 5, 1984
In the Qiang village of Chibuzhi a grandmother and grandson invited me to join them in sipping barley wine though bamboo straws. Imposing stone watchtowers mark Qiang villages and speak to their precarious survival in the mountains between the lands of the Han Chinese and the Tibetans.