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


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