DPP Home Profiles Joel Meyerowitz - AFTERMATH

Friday, June 1, 2007

Joel Meyerowitz - AFTERMATH

By working connections and being a model of persistence, Joel Meyerowitz secured special access to New York's Ground Zero site.

This level of control has provided Meyerowitz with the means to personalize the looks of photographs, even those oversized prints that are produced at a lab. By using the printers, he creates a master print, which the lab can use as a color reference for the final result. But while the technology has provided him with the ability to gain more control, Meyerowitz is especially enthused about one of the most important things that today's inkjet technology brings to the color photographer's work: longevity.

Says Meyerowitz, "The printer I have uses a 12-pigment ink system, which has a much wider tonal range than conventional darkroom materials, and it's more stable and permanent. So, for me, it's foolish not to use this right now because we all want permanence. It's what color photography has been wanting forever.

"The HP printer also gives me the opportunity to print for myself," he adds, "which I love to do. I can master the print more delicately and more successfully in my own studio than I can by doing it through a lab."

As people have the opportunity to see the photographs in the book or on display, Meyerowitz continues to be struck by the response to this body of work.

"When you're a fine-artist, you get some critical appreciation, a modest liking," he says. "It's narrow. But this work seems to engender from the viewers something big-hearted, like 'Thank you for all that you've done for America, for the memory of 9/11,' and that's overwhelming. I didn't do it with that in mind. So to be a recipient of such generosity and kindness and affection has just blown me away."

On completion of the new World Trade Center and the Freedom Tower on the site of Ground Zero, many of Meyerowitz's images will be on display, helping generations to remember the events immediately following 9/11. And while these photographs are largely the result of one man's determination and persistence, Meyerowitz resists the idea that these photographs are entirely his own.

"Each and every step of the way, something happened that enabled me to continue on the pursuit of this thing," Meyerowitz says. "After a while, you get aggressive because the project is building and only you as the maker recognize the significance of it, and so you have to protect this as a baby. But eventually, you have to convince others that they have to take care of this too, so that it can mature and become what it's meant to be."

To see more of Joel Meyerowitz's photography, visit his Website at www.joelmeyerowitz.com. To purchase his book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive ($75, Phaidon, 2006), visit www.phaidon.com.



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