Bruce Jackson, Ali, 2004; photograph; Courtesy of the Artist

Bruce Jackson, Ali, 2004; photograph; Courtesy of the Artist

Bruce Jackson, Being There, Ali 2004

Monday, March 11, 2013

Throughout the run of Being There: Bruce Jackson Photographs 1962-2010, the artist is sharing some of the stories behind his photographs.Being There is on view until June 16, 2013. The catalog accompanying the exhibition is available at The Museum Store at the Burchfield Penney.


This is my granddaughter, Ali, at Bill and Margie Kunstler's house in Greenwich Village in 2004. Ali would have been 6 then. Diane and I always stayed with Bill and Margie when we were in NYC. Bill died in 1995. That day, Margie was having a party for their daughter, Sarah. Our daughter, Jessica, her husband, Dean, and their two daughters, Ali and Leah came in from New Jersey to see us. The house was full of balloons. At one point I noticed Ali standing in a corner with the cords of several of the balloons pulled close and a few wrapped around her. I realized she'd been there, motionless, for a while. Without saying a word to me, she had composed herself for a photograph. She knew exactly what she was doing, so I've always thought of this picture (which is on one of our kitchen walls) as more hers than mine. I just did what she was standing there waiting for me to do: I raised the Nikon and depressed the shutter button.

The thing about portraits is, when they work, they're almost always collaborative. Some I just catch, but most of the time, we're in it together and that, for me, part of what those pictures are about.

-Bruce Jackson