Producing Can You See Me ?
Some things just have to be – and this book is one of them.
When I met Lisa Silverstein for coffee in London in early 2014, I knew about the classic image of Jimi Hendrix that had appeared on posters in the late 1960s, and that had been taken by her father Donald. I was not prepared for what was to come however. I remember vividly how Lisa opened a large envelope in front of me, and proceeded to pulled out page after page of contact sheets from that same 1967 session. Even though I was looking at tiny images on the contact sheets, each one a mere 2¼ inch square, I could see immediately that these were very high quality photographs.
The more time I spent with the images, enlarging, cataloguing and analysing them, comparing the angles, details, textures and facial expressions, the more I came to the conclusion that this was one of the most important Jimi Hendrix studio portraits sessions, period. Here was a photographer operating at the peak of his powers, using self evident technical skills, coupled with that bit of magic, possessed by some photographers, that transforms a routine shoot into something on a higher level.
I knew I had to help give this important collection the prominence it deserved. This book is very much a part of that process, and follows on from the world’s first gallery exhibition of photographs from the session which we hosted in the Summer of 2014 at our gallery in St James’s, in central London.
Should a book really be devoted to a single session taken on one day, with one subject ? When the subject is Jimi Hendrix, and the photographer is Donald Silverstein, then the answer to that question is to my mind absolutely, categorically, yes. This is the reason we established our publishing arm, Ormond Yard Press, in the first place: to be able to share incredible images such as these with like-minded photography and music aficionados and collectors, in a beautiful large format limited edition volume.
I hope we can tempt you.
Guy White, publisher, Ormond Yard Press.