Tony Vaccaro - War. Peace. Beauty.

November 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

IMG_2900Tony Vaccaro bookended by two of his photographs - Lauren Becall and J. Robert Oppenheimer

 

We live in busy times. You might think that by age 90 your life would slow down. For Tony Vaccaro, now 93, life as a photographer has never slowed down. From the time he was 13 and first took a photography class at New Rochelle High School taught by his favorite teacher, Mr. Lewis, until today, Tony is keeping busy with photography. It is more than fortunate that Mr. Lewis encouraged Tony to pursue photography instead of his first love, sculpture. For the second time this year,  I accompanied my friend and fellow photographer Charlie Seton on a lunch date with Tony in Long Island City. Once there, we caught up to Tony's son Frank, who gave us a tour of their updated studio. Frank is the perfect person to assist Tony in the busy activities of his studio and photography business. He shares his father's passion for his photography and the deep history that it reflects. While we were in their studio, Tony reviewed a random box of photo prints that he had made years ago with Frank. They did this in the time honored tradition of looking at them and discussing the details. 

 

IMG_2902Tony & Frank VaccaroReviewing photographs in the Tony Vaccaro Studio

 

 

IMG_2995Tony Vaccaro StudioTony enthusiastically identifies participants in a photograph of a sack race he made while a student at New Rochelle High School.

 

 

IMG_3051Tony Vaccaro StudioTony explains how the daylight processing system he used in WWII worked.

 

 

IMG_3047Tony Vaccaro StudioPhotograph of Germany made after Hitler was found dead.

 

Tony would be considered sharp for any age, but his clarity recalling every detail in his photographs, no matter how long ago they were made, is astonishing. it was a special privilege to share with the father and son team as they looked at each image.

Tony Vaccaro is the subject of the new HBO documentary UNDERFIRE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PFC. TONY VACCARO debuts on HBO on Monday, November 14 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The film documents Tony's experience as a member of the 83rd Infantry during World War Two and as a photographer. I have seen it and would be pleased if it was nominated for an Oscar. It certainly deserves one.

Thanks for reading.

See ya next week,

Bob


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