Dispatches: Frank Jackson

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Frank Jackson is a Los Angeles based photographer known for his narrative stories and whimsical imagery. Frank works primarily in black and white and spends much of his time on the road exploring things that require time, patience and a quiet mind. What follows are my notes from our session.

Corner cutter. Handheld embosser. Fountain pen. Paper. Tangibility. Jazz. Good, good Jazz.

Such a thoughtful guy. A guy with feeling and kindness and knowledge. Did I mention Jazz. The house we are in is one of royalty. The black and white legends hang from the walls and the bloodline I cross over as my shadow darkens the door is the top. The best. Pure. Residue. I don’t put two and two together until Frank shows me the way. “No way,” is all I can say.
The light is working, showing itself to me, showing off even. White hot, colorless Los Angeles filtered through the Spanish style and stucco. It works. My mind says stark, dark, graphic and unclear. It’s so f%$#$%$ obvious. It comes from doing this again and again, year after year. You know it and you know it FAST.
There are dual conversations. The one actually happening and the other in my mind as I tile the story together. I love being here, but I’m perpetually frustrated because we never just get to hang. Talk. Listen without speaking, even to each other.
A small room but filled with a big life. Europe. Lots of Europe and it makes sense. His movements are slow but they are attuned to the details in life and it’s a marvel to see in an age when people text while parallel parking.
Mail. Real mail. Photographs. Real photographs. Prints. Everything is printed, and printed well. Labeled, stamped, mailed, and at times rephotographed. There are years of projects here. Years. The effort required is what I’m getting at. This ain’t no downstream beer. This is pure, high-mountain gold.
There is a sadness here because of the illness, and it’s magnified because I can feel the desire to be out, to be known, to be making like this might be your last minute on Earth. I too know both the sadness and the urge to move when your body and brain have other plans. But ya, there’s the other side of that coin. “Say you do got me boxed in and I gotta put YOU down,” as De Niro says to Pacino in HEAT, “I will not hesitate, not even for a second,” and what these curves of life provide is CONVICTION. Right this f%$#$%$ minute commitment of get it down, get it down and get it secured away in the vault of your mind, your memory or your instinct to go where you aren’t sure you can do.
Gear scattered around the room, on the floor, the bed, the table. Positives, negatives. Whatever. I’ll take it. You feel the lift through the board under your feet. I just got barreled. Three rolls. Only three rolls. But so much more really.You can find Frank’s work here.

Comments 9

  1. Hi Daniel, first great site and concept! I really enjoyed the words about Frank. Frank is a good friend of mine and I am his espresso cup dealer he would say. We explore Hamburg when he is in Europe and have some great talks! Thanks for the audio and words!!

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      I don’t think I knew that. He’s an interesting guy. Someone I like to spend time with but rarely see. And we are only about 50 miles apart.

  2. Really enjoyed this interview. The concept of this site is really wonderful and I’m enjoying getting to know all of the artists. Thanks for exposing me to the work of Frank Jackson. I love his coffee cup project and images.

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  3. Fabulous interview and thank you to you both for your honesty. Also, Frank – thanks for all the pictures on your Tumblr – inspiring and a bit mad (which is good of course). Love the nude on the countertop and tonnes of others. BW, Patrick

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  4. What an utterly wonderful interview! I’m a little late, but glad I got here in the end.

    On an unrelated note, I can’t shake the deja vu that was going on while I was listening to the interview. I’m sure I’ve not listened to this one until now…. maybe I’ve just heard you talk about Frank before.

    1. C,
      I have. Probably many times. He’s a cool guy. Very mellow. Very smart. Techy but also has soul.

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