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Sid Kaplan By Howard Christopherson

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Drive-by Shooting


Drive-by Shooting Icebox Gallery presents for the first time traditional dark room photographs exposed from the window of a moving car by New York City photographer Sid Kaplan. This is Sid Kaplan’s second solo exhibit at the Icebox Gallery.

Kaplan often calls his photographs 'snaps'‚ a slang term from the forties. "If I never take another snap again I will still have more than I can print." Sid says with a smile. Images in the exhibit aptly titled “Drive-by Shooting” is a collection of people and places, shot from a moving car, resulting in blurred and grainy scenes of the road taken in various parts of the country over the past four decades.

Seeing the car window photographs by Tom Zimmerman in the late 60’s (shooting while driving) fueled my passion for this genre of work. Not having a car, other people were always doing the driving at the time of my images. From a moving car lots of good photos appear and are gone in a few seconds. This creates a sportsman-like moving target situation. My favorite camera for this work is a 1955 35 mm Leica using black and white film with the shutter speed of 1/25th of a second to get just the right amount of movement. I pan with the action at the moment of exposure when I am hoping that the main object will be sharp. Considering the vibration and motion and not having enough time to frame properly for every three rolls of film one image might be useable. ~Sid Kaplan

I have been driving with Sid on several occasions when he has made images from the car window. Sometimes he shoots through the windshield and other times he wraps the camera strap tightly around his wrist and holds the camera up and out the window. It is funny to hear him work this way, quietly saying “Come on, come on, … son-of-a-bitch” …then snap! After he rolls the window up. Sid might say in his thick Bronx accent – “You never know until the film is developed if there is an image worthy of a print.” ~ Gallery Owner Howard Christopherson

All my work has always been done under the presumption that if it looks like a good picture I snap it. ~Sid Kaplan Sid

Kaplan was born in the South Bronx of New York City in 1938. At the age of ten, he saw a black and white print develop in a darkroom. The experience hypnotized him and he began his life-long career of photographing and printing. Kaplan loves the hunt and the search for meaning that only street photography allows, and he is equally enamored with what he calls "the magic" of making a black and white print.

In 1952, Sid Kaplan began his only formal education in photography at The School of Industrial Arts, a NYC vocational high school. At the same time he was going to meetings at the Village Camera Club, which served as a refuge for members of the recently defunct Photo League. His first showing of his photography was there. At one of the photography trade shows he met Weegee for the first time and through fate, they would be running into each other till he died in 1968. After graduation, Sid began his career working in the photography industry. Kaplan paid his dues working at many dead end minimum wage photography jobs. After 6 years he had gained enough skill to be hired by Compo, a well-known custom lab in NYC. There he printed exhibition and book prints for several Magnum photographers: Philippe Halsman, Robert and Cornell Capa, and Weegee. There Kaplan met Ralph Gibson, who later introduced him to photographer Robert Frank. Kaplan began printing for Robert Frank that day, and still continues that relationship.

ADDRESS WRONG IN THE STAR TRIBUNE. Come to 1500 Jackson Street NE, #443.

Exhibit is open during the Art-Attack event in the Northrup King Building

Open House Each Day with Sid Kaplan:

Friday, November 2, 2012 5:00-10:00 PM *Artist Talk at 9:00 PM

Saturday, November 3, 2012 Noon – 8:00 PM *Artist Talk at 3:00 and 7:00PM

Sunday, November 4, 2012 Noon – 5:00 PM *Artist Talk at 5:00 PM

Exhibit Closes February 2nd, 2013

See Sid Kaplan Exhibit