Alice Neel, photographed in 1980 in her apartment on 107th Street. This was one of the very first photographs that I made that has informed me as to who I am as a photographer, and what my work has become over the years.
I had never heard of Alice Neel before photographing her, but after seeing her work that day, and making photographs of many of her portraits, they have stayed with me and echoed throughout my photographs.
It was the first time I had ever understood that portraits were as much about how the subject was seen and understood by the artist, as much as it was about the subject, and that the convergence and collaboration of the two could make something very powerful and special.
On this day, I made a portrait of a portraitist, and she gave me the gift of herself, as open to me as her subjects became to her. I am forever in her debt.