Although largely known outside the world of photography, the name Sid Kaplan is legendary, particularly within the New York City photography scene. While a highly-respected photographer in his own right, Kaplan is revered for his photo printing expertise, a reputation he gained largely through his decades-long work with the legendary photographer Robert Frank. Through Frank he met Allen Ginsberg and began working on printing and processing the Ginsberg photos up until the poet’s death.
Brian Graham‘s journey from his birthplace of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia to New York City bgan in the early 1980’s when he met the famed photographer Robert Frank, who for many years has spent his summers in the Maritimes. Sensing that Graham was curious about photography, Frank invited him to New York City. While he began with carpentry work at Frank’s Bleecker Street apartment, it eventually led to helping Frank in the darkroom. “I learned how to print with Robert in the darkroom, which was really something.” Graham eventually established his … Read More
JS: Robert Frank was obviously an important influence for Allen.
RF: For most people I knew, Allen was a real hero, but Allen had his own heroes, and Robert was certainly one of them. Allen worshipped Robert. So the photography was a way for him to bond with Robert, and to be his student. He had another friend who was a photographer, who lived above Strand Books (in New York), Hank O”Neal. He was the commercial agent for Berenice Abbott. He was another person whom Allen relied on for … Read More
John Shoesmith interviews Raymond Foye on Allen Ginsberg’s photography
JS: You knew Allen before you started working with the photographs. How did your role with the photos begin?
RF: I met Allen in 1973 when I was sixteen, and a junior at Lowell High School. I went with the senior English honors class to a Kerouac symposium held at Salem State College, in Massachusetts. My English teacher, a lovely woman named Rita Sullivan, allowed me to go with the senior class, even though I was a junior, because she knew I was reading … Read More
Hershorin: “Although the official repository of the Allen Ginsberg papers is Stanford University, the Ginsberg Family Collection resides in our small archives in Whippany, New Jersey, which holds materials representing Jewish life in the nearby counties of Essex, Morris, Sussex, and Union. Because the Ginsberg family has its roots in Newark, we thought it fitting that the collection should be with us….When the materials arrived at … Read More
Student: … writing, instead of playing a trumpet, a sax..
AG: Yeah. Well, the notion there is that once you have fixed in your mind your theme, or once you have your theme and observe a basic form fixed in your mind, then you just blow. And anything you blow is what you blew — anything you play on the trumpet or saxophone is what … Read More
AG: (“Sense seeks and finds the thought” (William Blake) ) So “genius finds thought without seeking & thought thus produced finds the sense.” Is that clear? Is that clear? I mean, does anybody not understand that reversal? Because the sort of squarer, more rationalistic or literalistic thought is that you’ve got to know what you say before you say it. So, as Robert Duncan says, “How do I know what I mean until I say it?” Or how do any of us know what we think until we say it? And actually the whole poetic process shares that. … Read More
AG: Now, (William) Blake had books and did a lot of reading, and he was reading the books of his day, including a book called theAphorisms on Man translated by (Henry) Fuseli a friend of his, from the original manuscript of the Reverend Johann Kaspar Lavater, citizen of Zurich, London, printed for J. Johnson St. Pauls Churchyard, 1788. So Blake had a pre-publication copy of the proofs of this book and he went over it and he made little notes in the margins (of) what he had to say. And this was done in 1788, probably. So I’ve … Read More