Old Westbury tower channels the spirit of Bobby Kennedy – circa 1968

This is the oldest image in my portfolio.

There was a fire in my boyhood home during my senior year in high school, and this image, along with a tiny handful of others, survived only because they had been submitted to a juried art show and weren’t there when an electrical kitchen fire turned our home into an inferno.

My dad, a casual, but wonderful, painter wasn’t so lucky.  Almost all of his work was hanging in our home at the time, and it didn’t survive the fire unscathed.  I was much more upset for him and his work than I was for myself.  I realized, even then, that I was a kid and would continue shooting all my life, while he wouldn’t have the same opportunity to re-build his portfolio. I was right.  After the fire, he couldn’t bring himself to paint for many years.

At the time, I loved darkroom experimentation and manipulation.  This shot was a superimposition of a tower in Old Westbury (Long Island) combined with a shot taken off the TV of Bobby Kennedy early in his race for the presidency, circa 1968.  I was a Kennedy supporter.  The Kennedy photo (taken just to see if I could actually capture an image off the TV) was taken less than six months before his assassination at age 42.

Old Westbury tower with Bobby Kennedy - photo by Steve Rossman

I’ve always loved this shot, assembled when I was 18.
I was surprised to realize that I’d never added it to this website.

Enjoy –

steve sig












This entry was posted in Fictional Images, Fine Images, Portraits. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Old Westbury tower channels the spirit of Bobby Kennedy – circa 1968

  1. It’s sad that your father lost his collection.

    • steverossman says:

      It WAS sad at the time. 10 or 15 years later, my wife and I gave him painting lessons as a birthday present. Pissed him off. “I can paint rings around the teacher,” he said. “Well good! You do that!” And towards the end of his life, he did start painting again. Which was wonderful.

  2. Ruth Kuroda says:

    Like the superimposition photo. Do you have any of his later paintings in your home? Wonder what it would have been like to study under Diego Rivera.

  3. steverossman says:

    I don’t. He did very limited work later on. My mother has two paintings (I think), and my brother and sister-in-law have one. A fourth (the one I loved most) was lost, probably in the move from her last home to the senior facility where she’s living now. You know, my dad and I talked about the fact that he studied with Rivera (again, at the Art Students League, which, at the time was a pretty radical place) but he never went into great detail. I’m assuming that it was a workshop, and not a longer class. This was around, and shortly after, the depression. My understanding is that he scrambled pretty hard to bring money home to his parents and family.

    We do have one painting that survived (sort of) the fire, but it’s a mess and is flaking badly. It’s a copy, not an original (of a Picasso “blue period” painting). But the work is masterly.

  4. Steve, this may possibly be my favorite of all your work! It touches me deeply and speaks to my soul. Thankfully it was saved in the fire. You’re a master at capturing the unusual. Thank you for saving this masterpiece. I’ve missed enjoying your work on your blog. Judith

  5. Thanks, Judith,! For a long time, I was really a darkroom rat. I’d go out and shoot a roll of film in half an hour, then go into the darkroom and work on one image for two days. Come to think of it, that’s not unlike what I do with photoshop now.

  6. John says:

    Great picture, Steve.

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