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Now thru May 28, 2014 “Portraying Artists” is live on the crowd funding site ROCKETHUB.COM. Contributions have been made that receive an equivalent gift in kind of a photo of the contributors choosing.


This January 2012 an architectural shoot was executed at the Elaine de Kooning property, house and art studio in East Hampton, New York. The property has a history and tradition of being owned by artists. The house originally a saltbox was enlarged with additions by Elaine de Kooning and was often visited by Willem de Kooning. Later on the sculptor John Chamberlain lived and worked there as did the painter Richmond Burton. The current owner is making the house and art studio available to other artists such as Jose Lerma, on a rotating basis similar to an artists residency program.

The current owner of the house having learned that the photographer made a portrait of Elaine de Kooning in 1984 sought out Weissman to photograph this prominent property. For the photographer this project completes a full circle of documenting the artist and now her property years later. That portrait is described by Jennifer Landes of the East Hampton Star as "...singular in its strength and hints of by gone beauty... provide a certain structure or ballast for her otherwise ethereal presence."  Click here to see these photos.


We are pleased to share with you the recent article about the photographer in the

East Hampton Star by Jennifer Landes, page C3, Dec 15, 2011

Here are some excerpts:

It was November in Northwest Woods and Walter Weissman's front lawn was blanketed in crunchy tobacco-colored leaves... Mr. Weissman has had a presence in East Hampton from as early as the 1970s... On a dark and drizzly day, he sat down to discuss his background, his current sculpture projects, but specifically his photographs...Long before he would find his way to East Hampton, he took his earliest inspiration from Life magazine's spread of Hans Namuth's photographs of Jackson Pollock. "They blew me away and informed my consciousness the way people get hooked into music, but for me it was it about visualizing through photographic images."

Some of his first classes were taken with Gregory Babcock at Kingsboro Community College, where he helped set up the art department's slide collection...Babcock, who served as a mentor, took him along to Andy Warhol's studio The Factory in 1969 when he was still a student. He recalled that in order to get into the studio someone had to throw down the keys to the door and then take the elevator up or climb up the fire escape.


Mr. Weissman was also mentored by Walter Rosenblum, who taught at Brooklyn College at the time he was an undergrad and took him to Yale University Summer School as an assistant. Mr. Rosenblum literally helped write the book on photography, assisting his wife Naomi Rosenblum, who wrote "A World History of Photography," with various curatorial projects.

Mr. Weissman rented his first studio in TriBeCa in 1973...Later, he explored Europe, where his black-and-white streetscapes captured the old European feel of Eugene Atget's photographic explorations of Paris in an earlier century...

Starting in the 1980s, but more consistently in the decades following, he began to take portraits and snapshots of artists, celebrities, and other notable people, typically at events for photo agencies such as Corbis. While many of his celebrity photos have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Newsweek, People, and New York magazine, the group of artists he turned his lens on includes many of the more prominent artists who have practiced on the East End recently.

Even in informal settings such as exhibit openings, Mr. Weissman said he works hard to get a definitive shot. "The Chuck Close portrait I took worked because I positioned him next to a Donald Sultan painting of circular dots." He said the dots could relate to Hollywood lights or a makeup chair, but here they had a specific relation to the artist's painting process, in which he dissolved images into smaller components, often as dots, and to the blips and other pictorial shapes Mr. Close now employs. "I thought it also related to art history, in the work of Georges Seurat and Roy Lichtenstein with his Ben-Day dots." 

An image of Elaine de Kooning with a romantic flowy shirt and yards of necklaces at Vered in 1984 is singular in its strength and hints of bygone beauty. The painting behind her seems to provide a certain structure or ballast for her otherwise ethereal presence. 

The thoughts of Henri Cartier-Bresson on the "decisive moment" had a great influence on him. Yet, he sees the more posed images he did as a bridge between a studio portrait and the subject in more unguarded territory. He said it was "the elusive moment" that he sought, one that would help reveal something profound about his subject in a superficial setting.

It is on the red carpet and at public appearances that the personalities of celebrities "hide in plain sight. The superficiality comes from how much can a photographer know about someone? How to get that introspective moment? The image must be revelatory."

Read the full article at:

 Cultural History,Through Weissman’s Lens


Visit this link to learn more about the artist and read the excerpt below:

Parrish Art Museum: East End Stories

Born and raised near the beach in Brooklyn, New York, Walter Weissman studied art and photography as a teenager with the artists Harry Holtzman and Robert Morris at Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges respectively. In 1973 he established his first studio in the Tribeca area of New York City. His early affinity with the beach lead him to the East End, where he has lived and worked in the Parson’s Blacksmith Barn and above the Springs General Store near the Pollock-Krasner House.

Through out his career he has moved effortlessly between the two mediums of sculpture and photography. As an internationally syndicated photographer for such photo agencies as Corbis, he has created numerous portraits of renowned personalities and artists that live and work on the East End. “Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman” is a current photographic portraits project including Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Eric Fischl, Ross Bleckner, Elaine de Kooning and Chuck Close, among others, which were mostly created on Eastern Long Island. These photographs exist as fine art portraiture while documenting the history and cultural heritage of the East End.

His sculptural vocabulary is rooted in post minimal, conceptual, and process art. Utilizing steel, iron, rubber, stone, rope, petroleum jelly, wood, and glass he explores issues of materiality, gravity, structuralism, and architectonic space. He has created large-scale outdoor installations that are a cross between architecture and sculpture at a number of universities. His large horizontal floor pieces have been shown in galleries and public spaces along with his site-specific environments that have been exhibited at alternative spaces such as P.S.1, now part of MOMA.


“Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman”

The photo portraits of Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Elaine de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Dennis Oppenheim, Donald  Sultan, Dan Flavin, Eric Fischl, Calvin Klein, Arman, Billy Joel, Betty Friedan and Edward Albee are a promised gift to the Permanent Collection of a museum on Eastern Long, New York.

This collection of photographs is part of the collective heritage and cultural history that tells a story about the artistic creativity of the New York art world during the last quarter of the twentieth-century. It is a collection of photographs, created during a 20 plus year time span that reveals a narrative encompassing the many artists and art movements of this influential era having international impact.

A catalog will accompany this collection of photos that the photographer plans to travel to other galleries and museums.  


Portraits created by the photographer in addition to the people mentioned above are included in the forthcoming catalog along with: Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons, Richard Serra, Joseph Kosuth, Gilbert & George, James Rosenquist and William Wegman among others.  


The Museum Director states "...this important gift to the collection...is the first time these images will be made available to the public as a group...The photos are wonderful works of art as well as being a historical record of the enduring artist community.”  


Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman”

 All contributions and donations will be properly acknowledged. Send your check to:



20 Jay Street  

7th Floor  

Brooklyn, NY, 11201


Make your donation directly through  Artspire.org The New York Foundation for the Arts website



Donors of $250.00 and more receive acknowledgement letters from NYFA. 

Contributions of $2,500.00 and more need to include a letter stating:

"It is my wish that this contribution will be used to support the  

Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman”,

a project that you sponsor. “ 


Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman”

is a fiscally sponsored project of Artspire, a program of The New York Foundation For The Arts (NYFA).  

NYFA is a 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization founded in 1971 to work with the arts community throughout New York State and the United States to develop and facilitate programs in all disciplines. NYFA will receive grants on behalf of  

Portraying Artists: Photographs by Walter Weissman” 

ensure the use of grant funds in accordance with the grant agreements, and will provide program or financial reports as required.

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