Charley Quinlivan has a show for his skate photography this Thursday December 12th at the Juke Bar in the Lower East Side. My two friends, Sam Parks and Simon Heath, are the hosts, and I got to be involved too. Sam and Simon asked me to write Charley’s bio for the pamphlet to be distributed at the show.
Several weeks ago I interviewed Charley on the phone. I had 13 open ended questions and I took notes the old fashioned way with pen and paper. We talked for over 40 minutes and I learned some interesting things about him. He got into photography after serving in the Marine Corps, and photographed world wide in the early 1980’s. After 30 years working as a grip in the film industry he got back to artistic photography.
Charley learned a few things quickly from photographing skaters. He observed skating is unique as a sport because one can alter the appearance of the shots through photography and staging. Therefore he took the time to practice flash photography. Charley also told me how even though he concentrates on the good skaters at a session that he’ll shoot photos of any skater who asks.
In a way Charley Quinlivan may be documenting skateboarding in a very unique way. One tidbit I included in the pamphlet piece is that since Charley is not a skater he does not worry as much if the skaters are sponsored or what tricks they do. I’ll elaborate on that here, that most skate photographers seek new talent in NYC. They photograph or film those that have sponsors or young skaters with potential. Charley logs a lot of hours at the Chelsea Pier 62 Park and he photographs anyone that captures his attention or who asks him. If one was to look at all of Charley’s photographs from the Pier 62 Park they would get a sense of what a regular day is like there. Most skate photographs would be so selective, that one would not get an overall feeling of the variety of skaters that go there.
Same thing with when Charley comes to Slappy NYC’s at Astor Square. He’ll shoot photos of everyone, and highlight on his flickr page the ones that came out well. I’ve seen a few other photographers and filmers at those Astor sessions that obviously concentrate on a sponsored skaters if any happen to show up. Since Charley does not have skate industry ties, he may be truly capturing the wide range of people interested in skating in New York City.
Charley Quinlivan is a professional level photographer who became interested in skate photography. I’ve been happy to see some photos of myself on his flickr page. I’m proud to do a writing piece for the show’s pamphlet, and I’m excited to attend the show to see how Charley decides to display his photos. Are there going to be small prints or enlarged prints for sale? I really don’t know, I’m looking to find out, and encourage others to check it out too! Again it’s Thursday at 6 pm at the Juke Bar.
Here is Charley’s flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/charleyq/sets/72157635395878712/