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The Painter with the Umbrella (New York)

Beta Cam. 720x 576
Reel Duration: 32’26”
1981

This is an excerpt of the first video I shot in New York in 1981.  It was made for and with my good and long- time friend Arnold Wechsler.
The video covers Arnold’s work from the late 70’s and early 80’s. I was fresh from Europe and this project was my first professional incursion into the NYC art scene. I had previously touched the new analog medium at the School of Fine Arts in Southern France and more specifically in a hospital for people with special needs in Villeneuve des Avignons but I was not familiar with the medium at all. (Beta Cams ¾ inch. Monitors. Instant replay). I was trained in film school in Paris solely as a film cameraman (16m/m and 35m/m).

We shot this in an old television studio on Canal Street.  The camera only stopped rolling a few times, so almost everything was recorded like a TV reality show, without barely a cut. A few weeks later, the program was shown for one week, through the nascent Manhattan Public Network on Channel 35.  Partly because it became such a comical / spoofy/ improvised happening, it was an instant hit for our friends and the people who had the chance to see it.  A brief moment of fame for Arnold and I and all the people (especially Alicia and Natasha) who were on the set.  I don’t think Arnold sold anything that night, but as this video shows, we had a lot of fun.  This was the first of more than a dozen programs that Arnold and I collaborated on through Visual Arts Productions (1981-2004).

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