Photographically speaking, I was born 50 years ago when I got my very first camera as a 19-year-old college student. Soon thereafter, I became forever addicted to the mysteries of a silver image emerging on a blank piece of paper in a tray of colorless liquid. For the next 10 years, I took pictures pretty much every day, built darkrooms wherever I lived, and paid homage to Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson, my personal photographic deities, by shooting view cameras and Leicas with equal amounts of enthusiasm.
In practical terms, not much has changed. I still make photographs as if Weston was trying to get me to “see” in terms of abstract realism and Cartier-Bresson was trying to get me to “feel” the decisive moment. Such are the dual themes of my photographic life.
The artist's share of any print sale proceeds will be donated to Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Boston and the Epilepsy Foundation of New England; two organizations that my wife and I have been committed to supporting for many years.
Commentary by George Slade
Photography, a phenomenal interweaving of science and magic, has a remarkable capacity to entrance. Like countless others in the past 170-plus years, Jack Kadis was mesmerized by the experience of watching an image of the visible world draw itself on a white rectangle. The medium enwrapped him. Photography provided a space in which Jack’s younger self explored a relationship with creative insight and the world around him.
In the 1970s photography was nudging him along the artist’s path. He could well have followed it, given his dedication to the medium’s unique esthetic—the exquisite, painstakingly nuanced tonalities of the gelatin silver print, the optical precision of the large-format camera rendering a negative on a sheet of film larger than your hand. Jack also realized that the camera urges its practitioners to expand their horizons. The desire to encounter humanity and record those connections in a documentary fashion linked arms with his appreciation for photography’s intrinsic beauty.
Jack’s career veered away from the artist’s path. (Just as he started business school, in fact, a museum acquired a print of his.) His interest in the world’s natural beauty and cultural intricacy has nonetheless remained vital in the decades since his 20-something days. Once acknowledged and explored, photographic yearnings embed themselves. They may unpredictably awaken over the years. (Like riding a bicycle. You never forget.) Given time and resources that accrue as one matures, a passion for photography may reemerge with vigor. The tools have changed dramatically in the second decade of the new millennium, but Jack’s urge to see and to share the insights he’s gathered remains as it ever was.