Updated: Sep 3, 2020
I was born in New York City in 1964 and grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania: Reading. My father ran and owned a factory of about 150 workers in a nearby rural town called Sinking Spring, where I worked most summers as a young teenager. The rural beauty and kindness of the people I saw in Reading as a child their simplicity and decency made a strong and indelible impression upon me which greatly influenced my artistic vision as I grew up. I can still see and smell the wonderful lilac trees arching over the country roads and the rose bushes and flocks of sheep and grazing horses and cows. I attended a Prep School in Connecticut: The Taft School and graduated with distinction as one of the top 5 students in my class in 1982. I attended the University of Chicago briefly in that same year. But for personal reasons(my father went bankrupt in the recession of the late 1970’s) I was not able to continue my studies and with $200 in my pocket I quit school and took a bus to California where I ended up living for 10 years. I met during this time period every member of the Beat Generation with the exception of Jack Kerouac, who had died tragically in 1969, and befriended his best friend: Gregory Corso. He had a strong influence upon me both his character and his wisdom and he looked after me in an almost fatherly and tender way. My only interest at the time was poetry which I have written since I was first able to hold a pencil.
After living for a decade in the bohemian world of North Beach, San Francisco, I moved to the Lower East Side in 1992 with the intention of becoming involved in theater. But a chance meeting with a local mystic who wandered the streets of Manhattan I ended up going to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe one weekend and my life’s course changed in a completely different and unexpected direction. I attended a yeshiva for orthodox Jews in Crown Heights under the tutelage of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and became a Torah scholar conversant in all 3 Torah languages: Sacred Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish. I married in 1998; had 5 children but divorced in 2018. I moved to Washington, DC where I had a job working in a soup factory. In September of 2019 I met a professional photographer who told me that the fundamental principle of photography in one simple phrase is: Fill the frame. When he said these words something extraordinary occurred within me and I began taking 500-700 pictures a day. I have been a dedicated street photographer ever since. I had never understood photography as an art form until this time. I consider myself a poet first and a photographer second and I sometimes like to mix the two together. One of my projects is to make the poems I have written over the last 30 years into visual presentations.