Thursday, December 02, 2004

Own Your Very Own Hepcat

Hepcat will be exhibiting and selling his photographs at this Saturday's PS 321 Craft Fair in Park Slope. The fair is an important fund raiser for the school, as well as a great chance to see and purchase what Hepcat's been working on all these months. Come shop for the art lover on your Hanukah, Christmas or Kwanza list from 11:00 am until 4 p.m.

Smartmom may be a bit biased but she thinks Hepcat is one fantastic photographer. He's been taking pictures since his teens and majored in photography at Bard College. At the California Institute for the Arts, Hepcat received an MFA and studied with the great John Baldassari.

In the mid-eighties, Hepcat showed his portrait work in and around New York City. In the fall of 1986 when Smartmom met Hepcat, he was preparing for a show at Media, a gallery in San Francisco, of BIG black and white portraits of teen mothers -- they were beautiful. He had a studio and darkroom with huge sinks and trays (for the large-scale work) on Ludlow Street back when it was dangerous not trendy to be on that Lower East Side street—before Max Fish, the boutiques, all the condos.

After getting married, Hepcat devoted himself full time to developing software products for the Amiga Computer. When Teen Spirit was born, making money became a top priority. Soon after, Amiga went out of business, and Hepcat switched, reluctantly, over to Windows. Over time he found "success" in the computer biz.

A temporary stint at a small start-up called Ergo Tech led to bigger things. He became "Chief Architect" of that firm and helped develop a major software product that was later bought by Cisco Systems. The product was work for hire -- so Hepcat didn't have a stake in the profits. However, he did get stock options, which turned out to be a mixed blessing. He also got to work at a large corporation, which he was constitutionally unsuited for.

Laid off in January of 2002 when the product was outsourced to India, Hepcat was happy to be back on his own and out of the corporate grind. Smartmom and the clan barely saw Hepcat from 1997 - 2001 -- so busy was he in his cubicle. They are happy to have him home.

2002 saw the return of photgraphy to Hepcat's life. He bought a pricey digital camera, a camera he really liked to work with and hit the streets shooting. Now, 50,000 pictures later, Hepcat is really hitting his stride.

At the moment, Hepcat is shooting and printing digital color work, which he hopes to exhibit at a gallery soon. He is also showing his portfolio around town in the hopes of drumming up some editorial and advertising work.

At this weekend's fair, Hepcat will be featuring, Third Street, a series of photographs of buildings and trees shot at 4 a.m on a full-moon night. The red and green hues of the traffic lights merge dramatically with the blue light of T.V. screens and the light of the moon to create a magical, almost mystical view of that Park Slope street.

Hepcat will also be showing, Solstice, a series of pictures of people in Times Square at dusk, as well as Earth, pictures of the ground—all sorts of surfaces in all sorts of places.

In preparation for PS 321's Craft Fair, Hepcat is madly printing and framing lots of his "best sellers:" the Third Street pictures, pictures of Coney Island and California landscapes. The recent crash of Hepcat's computer hard disk has made this process even more beguiling. He has, however, figured out how to work around the fact that his primary computer is out of commision. Those of you who missed getting a print of "Wonder Wheel" last time around will have your chance now. He will also have various portfolios on hand for those who want to browse and order other pictures.

For those who can't make it to the Slope this Saturday, Smartmom will provide a link to an on-line "shop" of Hepcat's pictures in the days to come. There you can order yourself a framed Hepcat original -- a thing of beauty for you or someone you love.


At 2:18 AM, Blogger Udge said...

I'd be there if I could! Get that shop-link posted!

What an interesting CV ol' Hepcat has accumulated. (I am so un-hep that I had to look up "Kwanza".)

As for being outsourced, don't worry: the move made his ex-boss even richer, so hey everybody is better off, right? A rising tide lifts all boats, remember? :-/

At 10:52 PM, Blogger mrs. cleavage said...

oh, i wish i could go to the craft fair... i have a crazy day tomorrow. Sweetieboo's creative dance performance, fou le chakra's semi-opening, blah, blah, blah. i bid on hepcat's third street photo @ the PS 321 siolent auction (unsuccessfully, boo...) & i'd love to see more of his work. plus i'd like to say i admire the way you support hepcat. he's lucky, but i'm sure he knows it.


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