NEW YORK (AP) – He’s a legendary musician and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, but the thing Graham Nash never leaves home without is not his guitar. It’s his camera.
Supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s Nashs started taking photos long before they started making music and laugh at fate every day to show him something interesting to capture.
âThis is what I do: I wake up every morning. I continue my day. If I go out of the house – sometimes when I’m not out of the house – I take my camera and I’m like, ‘OK, the world is going to show me something fantastic today. What is that? Come on, show me, âhe said.
The singer-songwriter is now ready to show us what he’s seen with “A Life in Focus: The Photography of Graham Nash”, a collection from Insight Editions spanning decades that captures many other artists like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Mama Cass Elliot, Twiggy and, of course, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
âI am a curious man of the world and I see strange things,â says Nash. âI see it differently from most people. I’m not trying to brag about it. I just know I see it differently.
The book mixes intimate portraits and concert photos with surreal images that Nash stumbled upon, ranging from a photo of a sleeping David Crosby to images of Woodstock to the reflection of a mirrored building or the shadow of a bicycle in the street.
âI’ve been doing it for 70 years and you can tell when something is going to happen. You can put yourself in a place where Elvis comes around the corner on the back of an elephant, âhe says. “I’m waiting for the world to show me something fantastic, and I always do.”
The book comes out Tuesday, and Nash plans to talk about it on Dec. 5 in a talk broadcast live from the 92nd Y in New York City.
Nash says he sent several of his images to the publisher and left the art team to organize the collection without his direction. Whenever he exhibits in a gallery, he also leaves it up to the professionals to understand how the images speak to each other.
âI sent them a bunch of pictures that I thought were worth seeing. I don’t want to waste anybody’s time. I’m not going to show you an unnecessary picture. I mean, why? Why waste a few minutes of your time? Time is our only currency, really, âhe says.
Insight Editions founder and publisher Raoul Goff estimates that he and his team sifted through 700 to 800 images of Nash. He calls the photographs âvisual poetryâ.
âSome people think that when you look at an artist, their music is their music, their photography is their photography, their writing is their writing. But I think along with Graham he’s one of those individuals where everything is interconnected, âsays Goff.
âYou can make these connections between his words, between his music, between his photography and what he represents, what he believes and what he observes in the world. Many photographs, old and new, are a commentary, a dialogue, on the world of today.
Goff found ways to connect the disparate images, like when they paired a photo of Shawn Colvin looking over his shoulder from 1990 with a photo of Mitchell in a similar pose in 1971.
âThey did wonderful things that I wouldn’t have thought of and I was amazed. I like to let people do their jobs, âsays Nash. âMy father taught me that many years ago. My dad said to me, ‘Never buy a dog and bark at yourself.’ “
Nash may be a pro at photography, but he’s not very keen on the material. He notes that he was photographed for the cover of his album “Earth & Sky” holding an inexpensive disposable camera. âI don’t care what I use. I don’t care if it’s a Cannon or a Leica. I don’t care, “he said.” Just give me something to shoot with. “
Most of the most striking images in the book are Nash’s self-portraits, he stops time in front of a mirror by holding a camera and taking a moment, something that has been emulated countless times in the Instagram age. .
He remembers that at one of his exhibitions in Berlin, an intense woman approached him and said, âDo you know something? Nash played along and replied, “What?” She replied, “You should have your head examined.” These self-portraits are very disturbing. You should talk to a therapist. Nash laughed at the memory, “What can you do?”
Nash says taking portraits of people is different from photographing an interesting thing he sees on the street. âIt’s a give and take situation. I take this photo, but I give them a portrait of themselves that they may not have seen. “
Nash credits his photography-loving father with passing on his passion and writes that one of his first photos was of his contemplative mother in 1953, when he was 11 years old, an image that he says has caught him. made it clear that he could offer something special as a photographer.
âI’m a curious boy,â he says. “I have witnessed this world for almost 80 years and I have no intention of stopping.”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits