I came to photography in an unusual way. In 1997, after spending 25 years as a writer and editor in the newspaper business, I developed an incurable neurological illness and had to stop working. It was initially devastating, but over time the disease became spiritually liberating as I gradually realized I could no longer be who I thought I was supposed to be.
Initially, I was flooded with often inchoate emotions and painted for years to express feelings that I had no words for. Over time, through a series of lucky coincidences, I turned to photography and have been shooting for the last 10 years to articulate my feelings. I believe that any art that is honestly created is effectively a self-portrait. Frequently, I am not fully cognizant of what I feel until I see the finished product.
I strive to create meaningful soul portraits that evoke emotional responses. At my stage of life, photography is not a job but a voyage of self-discovery. Walt Whitman put it this way in “Song of Myself” — “I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”
My photographs have been exhibited at the Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque; Eggman and Walrus Gallery, Santa Fe; Foto Forum, Santa Fe; Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Fe; Salmagundi Gallery, Manhattan, N.Y.; Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, N.J.; New Jersey Natural Gas Co. corporate headquarters, Wall, N.J., and other venues. Publications include: “Black & White magazine,” “Pasatiempo,” the “Santa Fe Reporter,” the “Albuquerque Journal,” and other outlets.
My work is strictly a spiritual project — not a business. All portraits are pro bono.
Hal Kahn, Santa Fe, New Mexico