Books and photography have a long-lasting love story. While maybe the empire of the written world, books have always welcomed images as their most supportive partner. It is not a coincidence : Writing started with images and so, even more than Greek or Latin, it is at the very core of any written text. So how befitting that an event honoring two of the most important figures in photography today would be held in a Library. And not any library.
The Pierpont Morgan library, in the heart of Manhattan, is a book lover paradise. From first editions to hand written music sheets, from the first tablets of Mesopotamia to exquisitely illustrated texts of the middle ages, it is a place which you don’t ever want to leave. The overall decor, a mix of roman empire, english aristocracy and french royalty creates an overall atmosphere of surreal luxury half way between Kubrick’s 2001 ending scenes and a visit to the Louvre.
In this setting is where YPA, the Young Photographers alliance held their annual gala, rasing funds for its incredible work. Jerry Tavin, Deborah Free, Lindsey Nicholson and Bob Hendrix, the incredibly dedicated team behind YPA, did a magnificent job at making this an incredibly succesful event. In front of a pack house- hundreds of people showed up on Wednesday night- two people were honored, Eugene Mopsik, of ASMP fame and David LaChappelle, photographer of multiple talents. While there is no need to go over LaChapelle contribution to photography, it is important to emphasize Eugene incredible work to protect and advance the role of professional photographers. As Executive director of ASMP, Eugene has been at the forefront of all the battles faced by photographers as well as a strong advocate for change and adaptation were he saw those necessary. ASMP is loosing a great leader but the photography world is not loosing Eugene. He will remain actively involved, as part of numerous organisations, like Plus and YPA. Last night, he accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award which is quite ironic when you know it’s only the beginning for him.
YPA Alumni and grant recipients were also present, in the flesh and with a showcase of their images. Like debutantes, young, wide-eyed in front of a crowd of industry heavyweights, they mingled with assurance trying to make as many valuable contact as their mobile could handle.After all, this event is partly for that purpose. A few hours went by in what seems as seconds and like Cinderellas, we all had to leave to reconnect with our individual pumpkins. But for some who attended, life will never be quite exactly the same.