When Timothy Greenfield-Sanders was taking promotional photographs for Toni Morrison's first opera, "Margaret Garner", back in 2005, the Nobel Prize-winning writer suggested that he shoot a portfolio of black divas. Greenfield-Sanders liked the idea, but he had something broader in mind. He asked his friend Elvis Mitchell, a journalist and critic, to help him think of subjects for a portrait series.
When Elaine Wynn commissioned Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to photograph her billionaire hotelier and art collector husband, Steve Wynn. it took the two very busy men about a year to agree on a day and time. Greenfield-Sanders arrived at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel shortly before their appointment last summer and, after settling into his room, made his way to the 8,000-square-foot ballroom that would be his makeshift studio.
I photographed Edward Kennedy twice, in D.C. on April 10th, 1990 and in Hyannis Port on October 23, 1998. Both shoots with him were thrilling.
I photographed Merce Cunningham for the first time, on July 3rd, 1989. My friend Bill Katz had asked me to shoot Merce, John Cage and Jasper Johns, together, for the catalogue of Anthony d'Offay's upcoming exhibition of "Dancers on a Plane".
It was a wonderful day. John Cage made us laugh, Jasper seemed delighted to see his old friends and Merce was full of life, still excited about new dances.
Merce Cunningham's obit in the Times is worth reading.
What a life.
I took this of Michael Jackson in 1978 at the Grammys. It's sad how it all ended.
This is the debut of my new portrait series on the Huffington Post. Here you will find original portraits of iconic personalities, every few weeks, time permitting. For more about my work, please visit www.greenfield-sanders.com
Sandra Bernhard first sat for me in July of 1989, for a Barney's celebrity men's clothing campaign. Neil Kraft art directed, Douglas Lloyd was his associate, and Glenn O'Brien wrote the copy. All three went on to important careers.
Timothy took this of John Updike about ten years ago. RIP