Friend, colleague and former classmate Henry Horenstein has a new book out.
The book "Shoot What You Love"uses photographs from Henry's huge archive of his career's work and surrounds them with stories about the places, the people and the circumstances behind his pictures that are relevant, humorous, poignant and that deepen our understanding of this superb contemporary artist.
Henry and I were unique in that we we had our senior year as undergraduate students at Rhode Island School of Design together and then continued on for two years of graduate studies. That means I've known Henry since 1969! Long time.
If you don't know Henry's work, then you're in for a treat. The title "Shoot What You Love" is the advice one our teachers, Harry Callahan, gave Henry in class one day. Henry had said that he didn't know what to photograph. Harry replied that if Henry shot what he loved, even if the pictures weren't any good, he would have a good time. Henry took this to heart as this is what he's done his whole career. Country and western musicians, baseball, horse racing, stock car racing, burlesque, fish in aquariums, nudes, his family; a wide variety of interests, obsessions and preoccupations are topics for Henry with his camera.
Excuse the hyperbole but Henry Horenstein is one of the greats. With a lifetime drive, Henry's an extensive traveler while holding a position as a professor at RISD in Providence. Callahan often taught us by example and it's a lesson Henry learned well. We knew that when he wasn't in class chances were pretty good he'd be out shooting or printing in his darkroom. Hell, we often saw him on the streets in the city walking with a camera around his neck.
Any of these look familiar? Perhaps you studied photography with one of these as your textbook. Henry is the author of over thirty books.
The new book? Thick with pictures and content and a great teaching tool about what makes an artist tick with insight into where ideas come from.
From "Racing Days" by Henry Horenstein
After attending a recent lecture last month by Henry in Boston to announce the new book, a friend and I got to talking about Henry's work and career. We noted that Henry embodies much of what many of us hold dear to our discipline. Independent and unclassifiable, he works at his own projects with determination and devotion, while being warm, outgoing, funny and affable. Henry clearly loves what he does. This is truly an exceptional photographer and artist and "Shoot What You Love" gives us access to the pictures, the stories behind them and shares the experiences and wisdom of a career's worth of photographing.
"Shoot What You Love" by Henry Horenstein: not to be missed.
"Shoot What You Love" 208 pages, hardcover, $40 available Amazon, etc.