July 24, 2011 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography


One of the most rewarding aspects of our role as galleristsis the time we spend with photographers learning about their careers and experiences. After completing a hectic week of instruction at the Santa Fe Workshops, last night Joe McNally joined us for dinner and conversation. Joe's impressive biographyspans more than 30 years, from his early days as a stringer for the New York Daily News to cover stories for Life, TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New York, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and Men's Journal; as well as being a contribution photographer to National Geographic for over 20 years.




Joe was one of the last staff photographer's at Life, and we share many fond (and humorous) memories of the giants that came before him such as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Carl Mydans, Ralph Morse, and many others.




As New Yorkers who experienced September 11, 2001, we have been passionate admirers of one of McNally's most notable large-scale projects, "Faces of Ground Zero". This collection has become known as one of the most significant artistic responses to the September 11, 2001, tragedy at New York's World Trade Center, and in 2003 we exhibitedfour of the Giant Polaroids in the exhibition "Icons" following a Six city tour.




The entire Faces of Ground Zero project consists of 150 photographs taken with a one-of-a-kind camera, a 12-foot by 12-foot high Polaroid which takes pictures 40 inches wide by 80 inches tall - larger than life-size. Joe has stayed in touch with many of his subjects over the last ten years, and has recently been photographing updated profiles.





Joe shared with us an advance copy of the new book, LIFE One Nation: America Remembers September 11, 2001, 10 Years Later.











The book's description says it all:



"This expanded edition includes a new foreword by Tom Brokaw, reflections on how the nation has changed in the decade since 9/11, updates on the people involved that day, and new and exclusive portraits by award-winning photographer Joe McNally, who made indelible pictures at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of the tragic event.

For decades, Americans have turned to LIFE to see, understand, and remember the most important events of history. In addition to a powerful array of photographs taken by many of the world's greatest photographers, ONE NATION includes original essays by some of our finest writers. Contributors include David McCullough, Maya Angelou, James Bradley, Melissa Fay Greene, Margaret Carlson, Bob Greene and many others. To re-read these pieces today is to revisit an astonishing moment. There is an immediacy and passion to the writing that speaks, just as the photographs do, to what 9/11 was-and meant to us all."




Joe has organized a very special exhibition of his original Face of Ground Zero Polaroids alongside some of his recent portraits. The exhibit will take place at the Time Inc building during the 10th anniversary of 9/11, be certain to see it if you are in New York.


Thank you for a great evening, Joe.

Tags: terrorist attacks Life magazine giant polaroid New York Faces of Ground Zero 9/11