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Featured Artist for November 1997

Featured GiveAway

by Myatt Lipscomb

Hawk's Nest Mountain,WV
Edition: 2/36
14.5" x 14.75" - 1997
Silver Gelatin Selenium Print; dry mounted on museum board; arctic white rag mat;
silver frame measuring
22" x 22"
Valued at $300
Our November 97 GiveAway - Hawk's Nest Mountain
Jim Pearson
Chelmsford, MA

Hawk's Nest Mountain captures the beauty we seldom see in our average, urban lifestyles.

Meet the Artist

Myatt Lipscomb photographMyatt Samuel Lipscomb was born March 21, 1939 in Fort Worth, Texas. He served in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1961. In 1961, he joined International Business Machines in Philadelphia and was employed until 1965 when he enrolled at the University of Miami. In 1970, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and in 1974, received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He did postdoctoral work at Temple University in Philadelphia and then joined a pharmaceutical corporation in New Jersey. He's received several awards and has published articles in a number of publications in medical and scientific journals and holds one U.S. patent. He has been married and divorced twice and has three children; Jennifer, William and Leah. The year 1980 marked the beginning of many hospitalizations for chronic alcoholism and drug addiction. In 1987, he tried to take his life and was committed to a state institution and declared medically disabled. He has since found Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and in September 1990, purchased his first Nikon camera. His photographic work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, New Jersey, Miami and Philadelphia, and is collected in several public and private collections.

Myatt is compelled to pick up the camera and he loves to take pictures. Most of the photographs are about people and the selection of his subjects is a democratic process. He doesn't single out nor exclude the gritty, seamy side of life. Sometimes a subject may express concern for his safety and ask him not to go further or "I can't take you with me", because they don't want to see him get hurt. He doesn't seek out dangerous situations, they just seem to happen and he says it doesn't happen often. A fitting name for his gallery, "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND" fits his photographs perfectly. Myatt says in regards to his gallery name, "The persons and places which the camera has recorded are a "Part of" that island which also is of me. These photographs therefore, are a recording of my self-searching journey to OTHER SIDES of that same ISLAND, and an attempt to find, touch, awaken and share the beauty which is in all of us. It is in this context that I attempt and pretend to create Fine Art."

Creative Pic of Myatt LipscombAbout The Artist

He started photographing "You might say as a kid". He always loved to photograph and couldn't wait to see the results. He still gets excited waiting to see what will appear in the development stage. His first real effort came during the Navy in the late fifties. He started with a 35 mm Argus C3, then onto an Exacta single lens reflex with a Zeiss Biotar lens. He shot mostly slides and still has them today. In the late 50's, he dreamed of owning a Hasselblad camera but it was just a dream; and Japanese cameras such as Nikon were just coming into their own. His dream, however, came to fruition and today he owns a Hasselblad and several lenses along with his Nikons and Konica Hexar. He just loves fine cameras and they are like his little treasures in life. His "candy stores" happen to be photography shops. His Exacta camera was stolen in 1961 and he did not photograph again until being released from the hospital. Photography is the only thing he's been able to do and it is his passion. The 35mm Nikons and Hexar are his workhorse cameras and the pampered Hasselblad medium format camera is used mostly for landscape and studio work.

There is no particular time that is best for him to pick up the camera. Anytime is good. He is never without a camera or two even when shopping for groceries. When he's specifically out searching, he carries one or two camera bags. Most of his best pictures come from just being in the right place at the right time. To him, the opportunity for a photo seems to be an act of God. Suddenly it is there and he didn't have much to do with it except to have his camera in hand. Myatt is quite modest when it comes to his emotional, moving creations. He says, "It is like "G_d" moves mountains but don't forget to bring your shovel."

Myatt Lipscomb on Motorcycle From 1989-1993, Myatt rode only a motorcycle (rain, shine or snow). He had no money for a car nor could he afford the insurance. He rode over 75,000 miles on that bike and his son-in-law and daughter are still riding it. In 1990, he biked around parts of the country with an old Fujica AZ1 35 mm Camera. In those days he was shooting strictly color film. One night from a motel, he called his ex wife in New York to tell her he was in the West Virginia Mountains. She's a Brooklyn girl and at that time hadn't done much traveling. She asked him to bring her back a "picture of the mountains." As if by chance, the very next morning he came upon Hawk's Nest Mountain and took the photo. He's always wanted to reshoot this scene in Black and White with a larger format camera and in 1997 he finally acquired his dream, the Hasselblad camera! So in August this year, he traveled back and with just a little difficulty, found Hawk's Nest Mountain again. This particular shot is our Featured GiveAway this month.

Myatt has his own darkroom; and does all his own developing and printing. He is self taught and he doesn't consider himself an expert. Although I tend to disagree with that upon examination of his work. Over and over I saw the "Ambience of the Moment". Something very rarely caught in photographs. He seems to quite effortlessly capture a fleeting moment that one can only hope to remember and imbed in their mind. Myatt looks at his work like cherished children and creates out of a dire need to create instead of just simply wanting to create. This is most likely why the very soul of some of his subjects appears so easily through his lens.

He usually does not wind down the day. Either he's busy or he sleeps. As an adult, his only form of relaxation was to drink and/or get high. At least that's how he remembers it. He hasn't done "that" in a very long-long time. He also suffers from chronic depression and sometime between 4:30pm and 7:00pm, he's usually had all of the consciousness that he can stand for one day.

Arch Abbey

St. Meinrad Arch Abbey, Indiana, 1997, 12" x 13", Silver Gelatin Selenium Print, matted and framed to 18" x 20". The Abbey was founded in 1854 by Swiss Benedictine Monks. Myatt captures the essence and worth of his subjects and is now emotionally equipped to do so. A friend of his says, "it comes from the gut". Heart is a better word to describe his creations as the work seems to bring out heart-felt emotions not only in himself, but in others, too.

He occasionally knows when a shot is 'of the moment' and caught perfectly on film. Sometimes he's dazzled, and almost overcome with the beauty he sees through the lens at the instant he takes the shot. But then again, disappointment may follow when he views the negative or contact print. Sometimes the camera just doesn't capture the emotion he felt at the time. And sometimes it's the wrong thing in the background which he overlooked, or the contrast is off. Then just sometimes, the camera seems to catch the very soul that creates the ambience of a particular moment in time.

Donna Donna, 1997, 18" x 12", Silver Gelatin Selenium Print, matted and framed to 24" x 18". Taken with a Hasselblad 503CW Planar 80/2.8. "Donna is a Saint who works the streets as a prostitute and has no place to call home. Whatever she makes goes towards the motel rent. She is sensitive, sweet, sad, depressed, trusting, very vulnerable and claims to be thirty eight. When she received her photo she said: 'G_d bless you! I love you for this; I really do.' And then in her small sad way she observed: 'My hands are getting old.' To really understand, one had to hear these words directly from her. The clock seems to be ticking down on Donna. To know her and those like her is so painful I have to just get away. It just breaks my heart."


Samara, 1997, Silver Gelatin Selenium Print. "Samara is my neighbor and granddaughter's friend. I love to photograph black skin and Samara's skin and hair are just beautiful! Dark skin has tones, highlights and shadows which make us Caucasians look rather bland in photographs. I was equally intrigued by the refractive effect of the water. The refraction and her skin tones are so beautiful that I attempted this portrait of Samara."

Photographic Exhibits and Awards


Artful Deposit Gallery - House Artist, Allentown, NJ
Artra Gallery - Group Show, RRREETTTIINNAA, New York City, NY
Artra Gallery - Group Show, CONTINGENCY OR CERTAINTY, New York, NY
DeLann Gallery - Plainsboro, NJ
Galeria Atelier - Philadelphia, PA
Ortho Diagnostics Systems - A Johnson & Johnson Company Annual Art Exhibit,
Newark Public Library Collection, Five Pieces Purchased, Newark, NJ
Lavon Art Gallery - East Brunswick, NJ
Le Chataeu - Soho Section, New York, NY


Philadelphia Public Free Library Collection - Three Pieces Purchased, Philadelphia, PA
Rutgers University Collection - Three Pieces Purchased, Paul Robeson Campus Center. A Solo Exhibition of Fifty Two Photographs with forty percent of sales benefitting Newark homeless, Newark, NJ
Artful Deposit Gallery - House Artist, Allentown, NJ
Galeria Atelier - Philadelphia, PA
Lavon Art Gallery - East Brunswick, NJ
Le Chateau - Soho Section, New York, NY
17th Annual Jessie Mae Finley Scholarship Fund Concert Group Show - Springfield, IL


Alcoholics Anonymous Annual Roundup, Orlando FL


Finalist in PHOTOGRAPHER'S FORUM - 16th Annual Spring Photography Contest, PHOTOGRAPHER'S FORUM is a Magazine found in most better book stores. The contest winners and finalists were published in the "BEST OF PHOTOGRAPHY ANNUAL" the same year.
The BEST OF PHOTOGRAPHY ANNUAL - A Hardbound Publication, Serbin Communication, Publisher
Pallas Photographic Gallery - Group Show, Ten Works Exhibited, Miami, FL
Broward Cultural Affairs - Work accepted into the Artist Pool, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Art in Public Places - Artist Depository, Miami, FL


Top Ten Black and White Websites - Black & White World at
Solo Exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport - 15 Works Exhibited, Fort Lauderdale/Dania, Florida.
Featured Photographer - May - August, Oct Sabine Fine Arts Magazine
Featured Artist - Cycloid-Fathom Gallery
Member and Exhibiting Photographer of the Cafe Society Gallery Hull, New Yorkshire, UK

IceCream ManIceCream Man, 1996, Silver Gelatin Selenium Print, matted and framed to 18" x 24". A feeling of "the good ole days" comes to mind in this work. A moment caught in time and etched forever. "Its tonality, moment and composition represent to me, the 'perfect photograph'. I got lucky and G_d Bless Nikon. The IceCream Man was never aware I took this picture (or of me for that matter) and when I returned to give him a print, the business had been sold.

EntertainerThe Entertainer, 1996, Silver Gelatin Selenium Print. "To me, this photo is an example of what I think Richard Avedon meant in saying '...the photographs have a reality for me that the people don't. It's through the photographs that I know them.' The Entertainer was taken along a Beach Boardwalk. I can't decide whether to call his act a pantomime, a mechanical-man act or whatever. He does a nearly perfect animated mannequin in a very sad way - and he does it very, very well. Later on, I met him only once (to give him a copy of the photo). He seemed to keep himself and his emotions locked away, just as he superficially appears during his act. I would love to have the photograph immortalize this man who can say a lot, in perhaps, only a silent way."

Contact the Artist

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Thomas, 1997, Silver Gelatin Selenium Print. "Thomas Dewitt is sixty four. He lives alone in a tiny room at the rundown Charles Hotel on Collins Avenue in South Miami Beach. His most treasured memories are of surfing in Hawaii. Maybe they really happened."


Just now, "good fortune" and "gratitude" come to my mind because I've had nothing but good fortune in my life - for which I am grateful. I, therefore, have no right to ask for anything more for myself. But if I could, it would be to make my mark in photography - to make visible just one scene, or one person, in hopes that others, later on, will literally "see" and understand that this is how we lived...all of us. ~ Myatt Lipscomb