Growing up, Ricky Powell was a super hero of funk. He was a strange myth of pure rager and street photographer world traveling white jazz. I was insanely juiced to meet him and he was a cold stranger to me, a true jaded New Yorker, I was “the new guy.” However, like all things great, over the course of many years we became quite close, as I began shooting him, and placing him iconicly where ever I could when weaving this time tapestry.
Ricky is a true living legend, and a keeper of time, and a wonderful drunken master, a wizard of light and warm pure wonderment. His photographs capture a moment in time that he is involved in, he is a participant in his work, and with this inclusive way of seeing he infected me with a realization about “photography.” The first time I ever saw him he flew on stage with the Beastie Boys in S.F. beers in one hand, camera in the other, a terrible pinner joint in his mouth, raging. Raging and capturing the wonderful moments in time with his brothers on some sort of psychedelic adventure parade. He was capturing his life, and I wanted to see it all. And that affected me. And here I am now. Pretty much.
So Uncle Rick and I shot one beautiful New York afternoon, we talked photography, dog watched, meandered through the East Village, and visited his “public pets” in Washington Square Park. I love Ricky, he IS New York, I love New York.