"Art Shay: True Colors" at Thomas Masters Gallery
Photographer Art Shay (b. 1922) has captured countless iconic images of Chicago—sometimes in partnership with his longtime collaborator, writer Nelson Algren. Through February 25, Thomas Masters Gallery (245 West North Avenue) offers a rare glimpse of his color photos from the past five decades in "Art Shay: True Colors." Shay graciously allowed TOC to preview five works from the show in our photo slide show, above. Here's what he said about the images:
Art Shay, Demonstrators: Hippies vs. Police 1968, Chicago, Illinois, 1968. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
“The last day of the 1968 Democratic Convention found me on Michigan Ave covering the hippies eluding the cops as they climbed the famous equestrian general statue across from the Hilton. Time Magazine used this as their closing full page, summing up the horrible week.”—Art Shay
Art Shay, Mayor Daley in Front of City Hall (rare), Chicago, IL, c. 1975. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
“The original Mayor Daley, Richard J. I was shooting him for a Time cover with the skyline behind him—but I had brought my 180-degree Fisheye along for precisely this picture—Da Mayor with City Hall jutting from his ample body! Time elapsed before he ducked in—10 seconds, one frame—this one.”—AS
Art Shay, Safari Bath, Africa, 1956. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
“The writer of the Zoo Parade TV series with Chicago zoo honcho Marlin Perkins, Dorothy Terry, enjoys washing off the African safari dirt at the foot of Hemingway’s famed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ms. Terry is currently a Chicagoan who has written much poetry. She is the author of the much-mimicked safari dialogue between Perkins and his sidekick Jim Hurlbut, approximately:
Jim: What is on that outcropping over there, Marlin?
Marlin: Thatʼs not an outcropping Jim—thatʼs an anthill. And if we catch those chimpanzees on it weʼll bring them back to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the pleasure of Chicagoʼs children.
‘I think Perkins had something for monkeys I wouldnʼt want to go into,’ Ms. Terry said years later. ‘I guess he loved them.’”—AS
Art Shay, French Demonstrator, Chicago, Illinois, 1968. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
“Tough little playwright Jean Genet (whom Simone de Beauvoir scoffed to Algren 'is really Sartreʼs idiot son') demonstrates in Grant Park, Chicago, 1968, against Daleyʼs police. Next to him is druggie-novelist William Burroughs and the bearded man at his left is novelist Terry Southern who wrote The Magic Christian.”—AS
Art Shay, Police Hurling Tear Gas at Hippies in Lincoln Park during Democratic Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 1968. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.
"Time-Life called this one of the great pictures of the last 100 years. This picture represented 1968. The 1969 picture was Armstrongʼs footprint on the moon."—AS