One Maurice Sapiro

Maurice Sapiro

Often I encounter people in restaurants or other public places.  Interesting people.  Sometimes, I have my camera and snap a photo.  I tell you about it sometimes too.  When I met this incredible man in the Blogosphere, I wondered if such a chance encounter counts in the real world?  I notice that bloggers don’t seem to like re-posts of another blogger’s post.  I can’t really figure out why that is since the ones which I see are new to me.  I wouldn’t have found them if they hadn’t been posted by a blogger whom I follow.

There are rules here, I know.  I understand most of them.  Sometimes, though, I don’t understand.  If I find something interesting on the street in my town or on a virtual street here, I want to post it.  I found this eighty-year-old artist.  I am excited about him and his work.  Especially, I am excited about the old photographs from the Fifties.  He draws, paints in watercolors and oils, sculpts.  I wish I were in Connecticut.  I would take him up on that cup of coffee.  And I would snap his photo to share with you.   Since I am not in Connecticut, this will have to do.  By the way, Mr. Sapiro is a gracious and generous man.  He promptly answers any questions about any of  the photographs on his blog.   I like him.  You will too.


I found Mr. Sapiro through a post on BoomerOntario’s blog, Canadian Art Junkie.

I was astounded when I saw prints of Mr. Sapiro’s old large format photographs and 35mm photographs.  The photographs posted from the European group are incredible.  The photograph above is one of the photographs of the people hired to copy the paintings for the Louvre’s records.  There are several of these fascinating Louvre copyist photographs from 1956.  Mr. Sapiro told me that he was only able to create this tone (which I call “golden sepia”) in PhotoShop many years after he tried to achieve the effect through the addition of chemicals in his darkroom.   How excited he must have been to discover that a few mouse clicks revealed it!

Mr. Sapiro was born in New Jersey in 1932.  He is a self-taught photographer who did his own color processing.  He also dabbled in inventing and in optics as well.  He built his own harpsichord.  He lives in Connecticut with his wife.

Bridge of Sighs

Mr. Sapiro had a great eye for street photography.

The Critic ~ 1956

He did remarkable photographs in Cibachrome, 4″ x 5″ Polaroid, Gum Bichromate, and every other medium available to him.   He says the digital age produces better images, but the darkroom was more fun!

I thought the photograph below was well composed and interesting.  Of course, the women were moving making the shot particularly difficult.

Nuns On Stairs, Paris 1957

Mr. Sapiro’s portraits in oil are breathtaking.  He has a signature and curious interpretation of eyes, I think.  I could not resist posting a couple of his portraits.  There are many others posted on his blog.

Portrait in Oils

Mr. Sapiro’s portraits in watercolor fascinate me.  His interpretation is very different from any portraiture I have ever seen.

Watercolor Portrait

A more recent photograph captivated me.  It is a photograph of a flowers on a table.  I commented to Mr. Sapiro that it was a “Renaissance painting”!  He was kind enough to respond with the information about the photograph.  (It loses some of its effect in this small size.)

Silver Vase 1976

Following is his response:

This morning I found a long lost box of Kodak 35 MM color negatives, and am running them through Photoshop.  My “Renaissance painting” was photographed in 1976, on a visit to Orient Point, Long Island.   Judy, our hostess, had this arrangement on the dinning room table—I don’t remember the meal, but this photo is unforgettable.

Mr. Sapiro is well known for his landscape and nature watercolor paintings.  As he said,  he is fascinated by 

…the moment when natures fuses light and air, and creates a work of art.

1911 Kodak D2 Camera

The Camera.  Maurice’s sixty-year journey has taken him from the old Kodak camera made in 1911 right into the digital age … from the darkroom to Photoshop.  What a journey it must have been.  And, he isn’t finished yet.

Happy Blogging, Maurice Sapiro!

60 Comments on “One Maurice Sapiro

  1. This is a wonderful post George. I am multi-meandering and generally spinning my wheels. Trying to catch up on some blog reading and considering revising my blog layout.

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  2. What a beautiful site, full of fantastic images and such informative detail…I’m so glad you stopped by The Legion of Door Whores and left a like for one of my images, which is appreciated 🙂 as i gave me the opportunity to visit this wonderful blog 🙂

    If you have time, please drop by my photo blogs http://reflectionsofchina.wordpress.com and http://moreimagesfromme.wordpress.com, I do hope you enjoy what you see there!..You have a really nice site here, certainly worthy of a follow.

    Regards Mark

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  3. This is a wonderful post. And it is a pleasure to meet Mr. Sapiro. At the same time, I have to express sympathy with those who do not like reblogs on principle. I’ve found that there are some bloggers, whose writing or photographs I enjoy… but with whom I do not share the same taste. And occasionally, I get fidgety and impatient, reading reprints of what they enjoyed. I think to myself, let them offer their recommendations… and we can decide whether we want to read the material. But it’s no big deal. One can always stop reading, or find something else to read. In this case, I can only thank you for introducing me to an interesting photographer, who can share what he’s learned and the fruit of his labor with us all.

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    • Yes, we have lost too much of history. At least, today your work and that of all artists can be preserved. One good thing about the digital record. I am always sad when we are left with only a tantalizing fragment of beauty. I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis. That’s the very aspect of Maurice’s work that is valuable to me. Thank you for this insight, Steve.

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  4. What an incredible artist! I could spend hours at his blog! Thank you so much for the share George.

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  5. Oh my god, is he painting while wearing a posh bowler hat? And I’m happy to hear he finally found his desired effect/colour tint (I’m Canadian, I spell colour this way)

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    • Yep, he dons his Bailey Harker before his morning coffee, to be sure. I’m happy for him too. Thanks for stopping by. You ARE funny. 🙂

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    • I’m glad you liked it, Marilyn. I’m tardy at your place. I think I’m several posts behind. Sigh. Be over tonight! Thanks for your kind words!

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    • Thank you Charlene. I’m glad you liked it. I love the watercolors too. I haven’t been to your place this week, I don’t think. I’ll be right over! 🙂

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  6. Old photographs intrigue me, as do old photographers…your Mr. Sapiro has a fine eye for composition and color. Thank you so much for sharing him and his work with us. I’m struck by your description of him as generous. Some of the most accomplished people I have met, particularly musicians, exist with humility and openness that defy celebrity. They are accessible, as masters are to students, always ready to listen and to share their questions and observations. Thanks for this post. He is a talent worth knowing.

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    • Aren’t all old gentlemen charming and generous? I always find it so. He’s such an accomplished man that he most surely lived fully and well. The intriguing thing about him is his willingness to share information. He readily answers questions about his work. As he says, he has the coffee pot on in case we drop by! How I would like to do just that. You said it well. He is accessible and willing to share. Thank you for your interest in my post about Maurice! 🙂

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    • Yep. I suspect he’s live his life well. And, I would love to hear the stories too. Perhaps, you can persuade Maurice to loosen up and tell his tales to us! Who could say no to that face? 😉
      Thanks, Rosy.

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  7. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing these photos and your thoughts with us. Love the energy of your words and work. Blessings, Sam 🙂

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    • If I ever saw a girl with energy, it has to be you! I love reading your blog. So full of positive stuff. You know, Frankl said that success is achieved in only two ways. Either we find it in our devotion to somebody else or in our devotion to our work. Happiness can only come in those two ways. I’m inclined to agree that a passion for life or whatever we’re doing in it is an absolute necessity. You have it. I like that.

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      • Oh, thank you, so very much. That means a lot to me. Frankl is one of my favorite reads. I studied him and his belief systems. I did a write up on him before, too, and applied his works in my practice as a counselor. I believe a passion for life is necessity! Thank you for seeing that passion in me. I see it in you, as well. love and light ~ Sam 🙂

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        • Well, what do you know. Two Frankl enthusiasts. He made more sense than anybody I ever heard who spoke on neurosis or the absence of it. I always believed precisely the same thing. He just articulated it for me. I love it when I encounter somebody who agrees with me. Ha Ha 😉

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  8. George, you are right, Maurice is incredible! I’m looking forward to exploring his blog. Thanks for sharing this wonder!

    elisa

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    • I know. I love old photographs. I was instantly taken with his work. It’s so varied too. What a talented man he is! Thanks, Elisa.

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  9. What a wonderful and inspiring artist. Thank you so much for introducing him to us here, and sharing his marvelous work. I am filled with utter delight and admiration gazing at these images, so rich, so full of warmth and life. I went immediately to explore Mr. Sapiro’s blog, and can see that this is someone I will be eager to follow and study.

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    • I think so too. I am fascinated by the old photographs, and his are wonderful. I can just imagine him running around Paris in the Fifties when he was twenty-one!

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  10. Oh dear George, he is great, fascinated me his works… Thank you for sharing with us and especially for introducing me with him. have a nice weekend, love, nia

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    • His work fascinates me too. He knows so much of how the art world, and photography in particular, was so many years ago. To think that he is still a working artist at eighty years old is amazing. Thanks, Nia.

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  11. Thank you for sharing this gentleman’s work with us! His work is stunning as you presented them on your black background with the green palm fronds border. Yes, he would have marvelous stories to tell!

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  12. The quality of the work is incredible — even moreso when you consider his diverse media. Wow! Nice to meet you, Mr. Sapiro…

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    • That was my reaction too, Daisy. What a treasure he is. As I keep saying, maybe he will tell us about the sixty-year journey. Can you imagine what he has seen and where he has been? In Paris at the Louvre photographing the copyists who were sitting right there copying the master works! That is a time lost now. It all fascinates me! We meet such wonderful people here, don’t we. Daisyfae is one of them! 🙂

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  13. These were incredible, George! I enjoyed looking at each and every one of them!

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    • He has tons of incredible photographs on his blog. I was fascinated by his old 35mm photos from the Fifties. He shot some unbelievable still life photos with the old polaroid camera. I remember mine! They were awful. And, they were 4×5-inch like his. Glad you enjoyed his. I couldn’t stop looking on his blog.

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    • This man is incredible. I wonder if he knows what a gift he is leaving. Sixty years of devotion to work that he is still passionate about. Oh, my, what a life! Glad you like his work. I do too. Maybe he will tell us about the journey. He is an inspiration. Eighty years old and still going. 🙂 We should all aim for that kind of life.

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      • Indeed we should aim for this kind of life — I’m inspired! I just read the text and looked closely at the pictures — this is the fuel I could use! Thanks!

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    • Thanks, Naomi. He fascinates me. I couldn’t stop looking at his unbelievably varied work. I hope he will tell us the story of his sixty-year journey. I am particularly struck by the 35mm photographs from 1956-57. When I think it was fifty years ago! How things have changed, but he kept doing his life’s work. That’s what a “life well lived” means. I’m glad you liked his work. I like him too!

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    • Thank you for the re-post. Mr. Sapiro is a fine artist and a fine gentleman too. We are losing so many of the early photographers and artists or the last century. They are indeed a treasure.

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    • Thanks, Cara. I was so excited to find him. His old photographs fascinate me. He’s such a gentleman too. So gracious. We are losing so many of these old artists every year. I hope he will tell us about his sixty year journey on his blog. He was twenty-one when he shot those old photos in Europe. I can just see him lugging around a big camera in the street and in the Louvre. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have seen the copyists painting the famous paintings for the Louvre records! We lost something human and important with the digital age, I think. I loved your story about you and Michael. I have to go back and read it again. You reminded me of myself at that age!

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