David Shenk is the national bestselling author of five previous books, including The Forgetting ("remarkable" - Los Angeles Times), Data Smog ("indispensable" - New York Times), and The Immortal Game ("superb" - Wall Street Journal). He is a correspondent for TheAtlantic.com, and has contributed to National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times, Gourmet, Harper's, The New Yorker, NPR, and PBS.
To anyone unaware of the photographer Richard L. Shenk (my dad), this picture is perfectly mundane. A man holding a camera.
To his family and friends, it is a miraculous and triumphant event. Fifty-five weeks ago, Dad was in a catastrophic plane crash. His injuries were horrific, and he was not expected to live. He struggled in the hospital for more than a year.
Last week he came home. His life will never be as it was, but we're all hoping he can find his old creative spark. Today, we drove to his office/darkroom in Basalt, Colorado, cranked up some Springsteen ('75), and dusted off one of his Hasselblads for a short photo session. An artist returning to his art.
We also spent a few hours looking over his photographs for his upcoming photographic show in Aspen. Yes, he's my Dad, so I'm partial as hell. But to me, his work has all the elements of great art: it is visually arresting, emotionally provocative, and forces the viewer to see and be curious about the world in a new way.
Just a few favorites:
I'm also partial to my Dad's work because he taught me how to be creative, how to think differently, how to pursue a vision, how to relentlessly hone your craft.