obama jovem

“In 1980, while a student at Occidental college, I was experiencing some success as a photographer. My black and white portraits of fellow students had gained some positive recognition. Consequently, when a friend of a friend introduced me to this “hot guy” named Barry, I knew I had to take his picture because, well, he was “hot” and I just couldn’t resist.  Barry agreed to be a model, and the following photographic montage and accompanying story emerged. I never did realize my dream of becoming a professional photographer, but I did keep the negatives from my early photographic explorations. And now that “Barry” is the President, I offer them up so that others may see a side to him I have yet to observe captured in the current maelstrom of contemporary media. I believe the following images reflect his spirit of fun and thoughtfulness that I hope he hasn’t lost on his road to the White House. For the record, there wasn’t a nicer, more sincere guy in college.

These photos were taken in 1980 in a small apartment in Los Angeles California, one block from Occidental College. My roommate and I had an overturned shopping cart as an end table, and our couch was a plaid nylon loveseat that had been left on the side of the road. The carpet was an indoor/outdoor lime green shag that probably hadn’t been cleaned since it had been laid sometime in the 1960’s. Barry showed up in a Bomber Jacket carrying his cigarettes and a straw hat for effect (his idea, not mine). He was as friendly and charming as could be and followed instructions very well. He just kept flashing his awesome grin and asked how I wanted him to pose. We talked about Hawaii and New York, mostly superficial stuff, and I tried to get him to “speak to the camera”.

It’s exciting to see someone I went to college with become President of the United States of America, especially someone who was so genuinely nice and sincere. I would be lying if I were to say I knew him well; but like so many of us in this country, he has had a profound impact on me. I feel honored to have known him, and to have been the “keeper of the photos from such a long time ago”.

I wish President Obama the best in these most trying of times, and I thank him, from the bottom of my heart, for his sincere kindness every time we have spoken.”

Lisa Jack, em exposição no M + B.


Sobre Felipe Lins
Onde eu nasci passa um rio.

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