You can learn a lot about people by running errands with them.
I interviewed Linda McCartney, the late wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, during her "Sun Prints" show at A Gallery for Fine Photography in 1994.
We realized that we once were almost neighbors in New York City's East Village and knew some of the same people, back when I was playing hooky from UNO and she was a photographer named Linda Eastman. We talked for an hour and a half as her daughter Mary refreshed our bottled water.
Paul showed up and our conversation continued on the streets of the French Quarter, where we ducked into Walgreens when someone needed aspirin. It seemed shocking that we all stood in line when most celebs would have sent a staff gofer to fetch the pills.
The McCartneys, beyond being extraordinarily nice, were the rare celebrities who seemed like everyone else in spite of it all.
Now Mary's photographs are on the wall at A Gallery For Fine Photography. It is striking how her vision saliently and aesthetically reflects how many regular people see the world around them.
Ordinary places and things are revealed in moments when they come across as epiphanies, and extraordinary people appear in ways that express the humanity we all share. “Butterfly in Pool” (pictured) reads like a beautiful mystery. How did it end up there? In “Beach House, Sussex,” a dark cottage on a rocky shore at dusk seems to glow with the souls of occupants over the ages. In “Joni Mitchell, London,” the iconic singer looks solemn, haughty and also vulnerable.
These works reflect Mary and her mom's unself-conscious quality of awareness. I never forgot Linda's empathy, kindness and generosity and was deeply saddened when she died in 1998. It is gratifying that so many of her visionary goals and traits live on with her idealistic and talented daughter Mary.
Through Aug. 1. A Gallery for Fine Photography, 241 Chartres St., (504) 568-1313.
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