Prof Corey is a Comedian- Social Commentator- Activist whose stance on the American government has made him a defiant radical who has used humor and intelligence to flay the hypocrisies of censorship, repression and corruption. He is 98 years old in this photograph, a month from 99.
Calling himself "The World's Foremost Authority", his comedy acts consist of non-sequiturs and malapropisms, wacky bits of knowledge that express his opinions and distastes of such subjects as money and power.
I shot these on one of the hottest days of the year, after 5 P.M., at his home, after he spent an afternoon panhandling for change at the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel. He collects nickels, dimes, quarters and bills from people as they wait in their vehicles. On his return to his home each day he patiently adds up his earnings, which he contributes to a charity which buys needed medicine for Cuban children. He's sent tens of thousands of dollars to help them.
".... My main thought is that creativity should lead to work that others are interested in. I've been successful as an artist, a philosopher, and an art critic. In each of these I tested them to see if anybody cared, that is, would anybody pay for them. I made livings in each case, though philosophy proved to be the main source of interest to others. If nobody is interested, in this sense of the term, it would be very difficult to keep being creative."
I have not been blogging, though I have been writing in my journal.
Will try to make an effort to post things here, if relevant.
I am looking forward to the summer, teaching a few book workshops, but nothing much.....the last few summers I taught pre-college black&white photo at SVA, but this summer they are re-doing all the darkrooms, so no classes. I will miss it (esp. the $$) but look forward to having the summer for me, to work on my "Respecting My Elders" catalogue and (eventual) website. To have time to take in, rather than give out. I can use the break: the last year has been a whirlwind of fund-raising, teaching, etc.
"Take a hint from Picasso, who said "I don't search, I find."
Don't go out looking for pictures or you will find them, and they will be pictures by others, which everyone has seen. See what is around you and use it to make your own."
Photograph of David Vestal, Photographer, Bethlehem, Ct., 2009
David Vestal is a Photographer, Educator, Writer, Photo Guru, Awards-Winner, Author of "The Craft of Photography". He presently publishes finity, a hard-copy newsletter of reviews, wit & substance that subscribers receive by snailmail. Interested parties should write to him at PO Box 309, Bethlehem Ct 06751-0309
I met David McReynolds through my dear friend Anne Slavitt (see "Opus for Anne") and am proud to call him a friend. David is a lifelong radical political activist involved in the non-violent revolutions. (He also ran for NYS Senate and for POTUS in the 2000 Presidential Elections.)
A very busy man with many astonishing connections, an amazing email list and an energy that keeps plowing on.
David's response to my request for "wisdom"
".....I'm so far behind in getting things done at the moment that I feel out of words of wisdom..... Just keep on trucking! Aim to get one thing a day done."
This is the first time i’ve tried something like this - to raise money. “Crowd-sourcing" they call it- a little bit from a lot of people. I’ve come to some conclusions:
1. It’s Hard Work. First of all figuring out who you know and how to ask nicely. Making, condensing and organizing lists of all the people I have ever had an email correspondence with. It does take a Village.
2. Asking for money. The hardest thing to do. Difficult for anyone but probably harder for an Artist: it brings up all sorts of self-doubts, even with the hubris of “I-Must-Create-This-And-The-World-Needs-To-See-It.”
3. Time constraints. Ostensibly short, 90 days is a long time to angst. In the first few days and weeks my good/best friends and buddies pledged their support for my project... I so appreciate that. Then, not much.
4. Three months is actually a long period of time, day-to-day, to worry. It is good to have everything in place (see #1) and a schedule. My friend Lisa, who successfully funded a project on Kickstarter (and for a lot less than I am asking for) told me she didn’t sleep for 90 days. I’m sleeping, but not soundly.
5. My holiday from teaching, a blessed month, would have been a lot more relaxing if I had had less to worry about.
6. Despite all of the above, I do believe “Respecting My Elders” is a project worthy of support and attention and that I will somehow be able to collect all the funds requested. Part of the anxiety stems from the fact that if I don’t raise all the money I won’t get any of it, and will have to start again. But at least it won’t be from Square One.