This Is Not A Pipe

Left to right: Fred de Filippo (Freddie the Flute), Joe Alper, Gino Antonioni and Yours Truly.

Joe began by explaining how the camera can be an extension of the mind’s eye, the key to a new adventure in seeing. A print of Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images‘ hung on the wall behind him, a simple illustration of a pipe with the caption, ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ (This is not a pipe). Oddly enough, the pipe in the painting looked just like the one in Joe’s hand. The adventure had begun before I even picked up a camera.
Joe Alper was one in a cluster of big names who joined the faculty at SUNY Albany back in the mid-Sixties, as then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller completed his sweeping upgrade of the state university system, a string of jewels spread out across the state with the new Albany campus as its centerpiece. A dubious distinction, in my view, as the muddled modernist buildings (rumored to have been designed for the pop-up city of Brasilia in the Amazon jungle) didn’t sit too well in the frozen tundras of upstate New York. But hey, it was the capitol, and he was the governor. Read More …