Friend & Artist
~Shared by Michael Foley~
Photography brought Chip and I together in 2000 as he became an artist at Edward Carter Gallery in New York where I was the director.
I didn’t know much about his involvement in the music world, so that never got in the way of really connecting with him as one artist spirit to another. I sold a lot of his photographs in the short time that I was there. But this was just the beginning of our wild ride of friendship over the next 16 years. He was a devoted friend and my biggest advocate. Missing him isn’t even close to how I feel now.
But with all this sadness, I want to remember one of many highlights of my life with him. As you know, Chip was incredibly competitive, always wanting to be the best. Jim Glancy and I cooked up this imaginary photographer named “Jemma Chansel” and even put out a press release stating that he was the best ocean photographer in the world! That really got to him (in a wonderfully teasing way). Chip’s debut exhibition at the Robert Mann Gallery in New York was weeks away and I thought Jemma Chansel should be there to meet Chip!
Chip didn’t really believe Jemma Chansel existed and I really wanted to get one over on him (nearly impossible). So, I went to the costume shop and bought a captain’s hat, a corncob pipe, a cane and a fake beard.
When I got to the opening, I walked around and most of my friend’s and Chip’s recognized me. But not Chip. As I walked by him, I heard him say, “Who the heck is this guy?” to one of his friends. I circled around him and went to shake his hand and he politely took it. I introduced myself as Jemma and I had him for all of 3 seconds until he burst out laughing. It was the only time I got to fooling him and witnessed one of the biggest belly laughs ever!
This picture really captures that moment and I am so very thankful that I have these beautiful memories to share. I miss everything about him.
Michael Foley xoxo