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In mid-April Anthony Zeh visited my studio. This wasn’t a typical visit where a friend swings by and we catch up or bounce around ideas while the coffee gets brewed or beer gets chilled. Anthony showed up with camera equipment in hand while I geared up to work on an art piece already in progress.
Zeh is in the middle of this intimate project he is working on called “A Portrait: 100 Phoenix Artists”. The series is a collection of 100 portraits taken by Zeh of artists across the valley. The idea is to photograph each artist in their studio in order to capture the moment of creativity and exploration. The collection of images will serve to represent part of the community that has built the arts in Phoenix and providing a slice of Phoenix history as the arts in Arizona reaches its centennial.
Some initial chatting took place as he set up is equipment for the shoot. I think all artists are different. Some may be totally comfortable with the idea of being watched or being on display, but for me it took a few minutes to let all that go and just get into my creative zone. It took a little upward turn of the volume dial to get the rusty voice of Tom Waits rolling through my speakers in order to drowned out the awareness of being surveyed. But shortly after, I just got ‘into’ the work. And just like that, within 3o minutes he “got the shot”. When I asked, he said he just ‘knows when he captures it’. I get that. So we wrapped up the session, bantered a bit about the project and the art life of downtown, and then he was on his way to shoot another artist in their studio that afternoon. The next day, I was able to see this photo. Yep, he “got it”.