(condensed: for full bio click here)
A lot happened in the 33 years between these two pictures.
The renaissance of late-60's New York City was my world when the first studio opened at 42 East 23rd.
Early on the alchemy of the darkroom intrigued me. I coined the term "Atomicolor" to describe the wild colors that marked my style. Nikon took note and wrote about my work. That publicity served as an endorsement and my crazy colors became more popular.
The studio was moved into the former Wannamaker mansion at 23 East 73rd Street. Business was good, and I was morphing from photographer to photo-illustrator. My mentors were Josef Karsh and Rysazard Horowitz.
In the 70's my work jumped off the printed page and onto the silver screen. Soon the studio was full of slide projectors and was renamed "Incredible Slidemakers." The staff expanded from 3 to nearly 30. We became famous in the AV industry.
In the early 80's the studio was closed and I went freelance to explore the world. Honolulu was my new home. Work came from all over and my passport soon had a lot of stamps. In the next two decades I would travel to sixty countries on five continents.
In 1984 Saab Automobile brought me to Sweden and I ended up staying almost 10 years. When the Euopean Community formed I moved the studio to Brussels.
After the first Gulf War, I moved back to the States, settling on Vashon Island, near Seattle. For a time, I had a seaside restaurant called Fork Inn The Road... but I'm really a picture guy.
Slide shows gave way to digital media and I suddenly found myself a networking geek. I missed the craft and deliberateness of working with real things.
So in recent years I have been drawn back, from the ephemeral world of the screen, to the real world of canvas and wood... from the real world of business to the ephemeral world of imagination and art.
By coincidence, but fittingly, this new beginning as a born-again illustrator coincides with the 50th anniversary of the time my Grandfather, Roger James Mesney, gave me a camera. It was a decision made at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, where the end of one ascent led to the beginning of another.