David Michael Kennedy's photographs have been stopping viewers dead in their tracks for four decades. An intelligent and imaginative artist, he is a mixture of New York tenacity and New Mexican frontiersman, whose palladium prints of the southwest lands and skies, international celebrities and Native American Dancers are sought after by collectors worldwide.
I met David a few years ago when I did a feature for CHASING on a trio of artists who live and work in El Riito, a 400 year-old Northern New Mexico village that is a sanctuary for a bevy of remarkable artists. We've been friends ever since. He called a few weeks back to invite me to his new studio/gallery and to meet his apprentice/student - David Dennard - who was spending the week with David, immersed in a one-on-one platinum/palladium master class.
The space is impressive for its gorgeous construction and vibe, but also for its 360-degree
surround of David's eclectic and beautiful work.
Courtesy of DMK
Courtesy of DMK
Prestigious awards for some of his many album/cd covers hang above the doorway of his office...
Just off the main gallery is David's state-of-the-art finishing and wet darkroom. He shoots with film and embraces the /platinum/palladium process, an old-world photographic technique that takes years to master; producing hand-made prints that capture the unique beauty and depth of a subject.
David and his retro-fitted camera...
Cody - the studio/gallery greeter...
T H E P L A T I N U M / P A L L A D I U M W O R K S H O P
DMK with his student, David Dennard.
"I was the apprentice and he was the master; i finished the week confident!"
This one-week, hands-on intensive workshop is unique. DMK only takes one student at a time and they stay with him - either in his home or in a rather nifty air stream trailer in the backyard. They have 24-hr access to the darkroom, and, notes Dennard: "What I loved was that if I wanted to work 9 straight hours, I could and David stayed with me."
Students bring their personal negatives or digital files to work with and David walks them through the intricate platinum/palladium printing process. "I want each student to leave with a strong working knowledge and foundation so that they can continue their work when they return home," explains DMK.
"David's approach to teaching is gentle and he is very generous
in sharing his hard-earned secrets. " says Dennard.
SOME OF DAVID DENNARD'S WORK
But, DMK admits that on occasion he can get a bit dramatic with his critiquing of a photo... like when he took an errant print (not the student) out back and shot it with his shotgun -all in good
fun to make a point!.
And, when you stroll around the property, it's just as engaging as the gallery...
And fresh eggs...
That wend their way into lovely meals cooked by DMK
Just to name drop... David Michael Kennedy's work is in numerous private collections, including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.. And he has an iconic face that other photographers capture beautifully...
Photo by his friend and fellow fine art photographer - Karen Kuehn.
D A V I D M I C H A E L K E N N E D Y
El Rito , New Mexico - 1 1/2 hr. N from Santa Fe
To see Gallery & Studio
Private Workshop Details