IT just went up a notch.
The opinionated and fiercely political legendary photojournalist/writer Danny Lyon has just boosted the fundraising efforts of Prison Photography on the Road (PPOTR) by offering a modern print that would usually go for about three or four thousand dollars. You can buy it.
“This is a 1995 modern print made by Kelton. The negative was made by me in 1968. Ramsey Prison Cell Block, Texas Prison, 1968 was published on p.121 of [the book] Conversations with the Dead with the caption ‘Six Wing Cell Block’. List the selling price as $1,750.00. The whole point is to get money for your project.”
Quite the endorsement of PPOTR and a gesture of great generosity.
I’ll be meeting Danny in November during PPOTR. Judging by the frankness and wit of this interview, it’ll be a fierce and fun dialogue. Danny on the Civil Rights movement:
“The Civil Rights movement is now regarded as a turning point in our history. I was there in the midst of it, and I was still a student, only 20 years old at the time. My parents were both immigrants, and the Russian side, which had participated in the first and second Russian Revolutions, were very vocal about justice, history and what we now call human rights. So I went. In retrospect, it was one of the more intelligent decisions of my life. Let this be absolutely clear: My parents did not encourage this, it frightened them. My teachers did not encourage this, they wanted me to stay in school and earn a degree. The Civil Rights movement was not popular; it was unpopular. And it was illegal. Almost everything the early Civil Rights movement did, and the group I joined did, was illegal. That is why [we] were being arrested. Present-day Congressman John Lewis, who was my roommate in Atlanta in 1963, was arrested forty times. He was arrested because he was breaking the law. This was exciting, it was visually powerful [and] it was “news” ─ though few national news outlets realized this when I began ─ and it was history, unfolding right in front of me. I was a history student and a photographer. I went.”
And when asked to give young photographers some advice:
“Leave school and go out and do something and stay away from New York City.”
Photographer: Danny Lyon
Title: ‘Ramsey Prison Cell Block, Texas Prison, 1968’
Year: Neg. made 1968, printed 1995.
B/W modern-print, signed (verso)
Print, PLUS postcard, mixtape and self-published book – $1,750 – BUY NOW