Category Archives: Video

Katie Kerl: Derek Bailey Green Car Innovator

Derek Bailey Interview by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019



Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019


Derek and I came across each other on Instagram. After seeing what he was doing I immediately asked to interview him. He welcomed any positive press and agreed. I had the Opportunity to sit down with Derek after the interview as well.

I was able to learn a little more about his company, but more importantly what kind of person he is. The questionnaire part of interview was completed a  few months ago. Derek’s car just recently arrived in the United States a few weeks back. I went to Hatfield, Pa to check it out in person last weekend. Also, I was able to meet part of his growing sales team; leads coming from the top Volkswagen and Lexus dealerships in the area.  They just like Derek were very welcoming, informative, and excited about what was happening there. 

The car industry is pretty cut throat, but I was pleasantly surprised at what gentlemen and active listeners they all were. 

No pretentious bullshit in this crew; he cut right to the chase and had quite the sense of humor about him. A very family oriented man. He loves his two daughters, and speaks highly of both of them. Derek’s mother and brother all are in the area as well. They take part in many charity events giving back to the community. Being so busy he still takes the time to give back and show gratitude for all his accomplishments. 

For me not knowing the first thing about cars; after talking with Derek I feel like Id be able to speak intelligently about his new innovation. One cool feature not seen on many electric cars; the Avani’s fully retractable sunroof. Most electric car dealers leave this out not wanting to waste precious battery charge. The Avani will not have that issue.

Derek broke it down in a way anyone could understand. That is what you need when trying to sway people into the clean energy movement; understanding. If we don’t educate the public, how will they make informed decisions about helping our declining environment? Tony Ward actually took the photos for this article. Derek had a drone flying the day of inspection. That was also taking place at the same time as Tony was capturing his shots. The drone capture was a pretty monumental; a famous photographer capturing a new leading green car mogul. 



Derek Automotive started taking pre-orders with a $2,500 refundable deposit starting in September 2019. Deposits will also earn the first 200 buyers one thousand shares of company stock, as a founding buyer incentive.  

For all the information you’d need to know about Derek’s green car, please visit his site :

Derek Bailey

Derek Automotive


K.K. Tell me a little bit about yourself please?

D.B.  I was born in New Orleans and I’m 50 years old. I studied Economic – Major & a marketing minor, at Virginia State University, and went on to study for an MBA at the University of Edinburgh, which I did complete – due mostly to the interruption of launching businesses.

K.K. Being a serial entrepreneur how many businesses have you had since the beginning of your career; were you happy with all of them?

D.B. Actually, I’ve not had a job where I received a paycheck since I was about 19. I’ve launched many businesses, with many failures, but also a few big successes.  One being a Company called Popa Media which I sold for $11 million. I’ve been in the Temporary staffing business for over 35 years. It’s been the financial fuel for my other bigger endeavors like; Wolverton Bailey the company I co-founded to design and patent our new engine supercharger technology. After receiving two patents, I decided to launch Derek Automotive Technologies to commercialize our engine technology, as opposed to asking other companies to include my technology in their products.

K.K. When did you realize you wanted to be a part of the clean energy movement, and produce an electric car that has the ability to be self charging?

D.B. This whole effort has been about saving our planet, without harming our economy, as most approaches to climate change solutions seem to do. There are trade-offs to going green. When people talk about electric cars it’s as if they think the electricity comes from magic. Over 70% of the electricity produced in the world comes from burning fossil fuels, like coal and natural. If all electricity was created with nuclear energy or wind and solar, then electric cars make a lot more sense – no emission at the source of the energy, and no emissions at the vehicle – totally carbon free! What we have today is a situation where electric cars are pollution-shifting; no emissions in the car, but emissions are created far away at the electric plant. Our grid is so complex; it’s difficult to know the carbon footprint of a specific electric vehicle because we might not know where the power is coming from. I wanted to empower us to know the carbon footprint of every electric vehicle. The reason I wanted to build an electric vehicle that recharges itself is to get consumers to purchase electric cars! Electric car adoption has been slow because consumers don’t trust them and find them inconvenient (i.e., being able to recharge, the long time period required to recharge, etc.) plus they’re expensive. It’s my goal to solve these problems, and deliver an electric car that the masses will want to buy.

K.K. Can you tell me how the technology works?

D.B. We’ve created a technology we call a Proteus Supercharger. Of course Proteus is the god of nature /sea that could take any shape. The super charger is based on two patents we’ve been awarded. One patent is for a highly efficient combustion engine that burns all of its fuel (most of the pollution coming from vehicles today is unburnt fuel) so it emits 83% less carbon than today’s engines. The second patent is for a special amplifier-generator that intakes 1-volt on input end, runs it through a magnetic field and outputs 1000-volts on the other end. Our clean engine (technically, it’s called a prime-mover), which runs on a small amount of gas, turns the generator to create an abundant amount of electricity (gas-to-electric power generation) for the batteries and interior cabin in the electric car. The supercharger only creates electricity; it does not help power the car like in a typical Hybrid-car. So, effectively, we’ve put a small power plant inside the car to make it more convenient for consumers. We believe that most consumers will enjoy driving totally on electric power, but also spend only 2-minutes putting a few dollars of gas in the car, as opposed to sitting for a charge for 35-minutes up to 5-hours.

K.K. Who did you turn to for production of this new venture?

D.B. Unlike Tesla and others, we can’t raise the hundreds of millions required to build our own plant, so we’re using the Apple model where we design and have more experienced manufacturers build for us. The Chinese are actually leaders in building electric vehicles and we’re partnered with a Chinese manufacturer to build our electric car, and we will integrate our supercharger into it here in America, to create American jobs.

K.K. Is gaining investors easy considering it’s a form of clean energy, or is it difficult being it could shut other vehicle producers down?

D.B. We’ve been powered mostly by my own capital, and capital from small investors who share our passion for workable green tech solution to carbon emission from the transportation sector. It’s unfortunate to say, but minority-entrepreneurs don’t have the same access to venture capital as others. Seeing genius from us is still a little hard for many investors, so we have to be willing to bleed-alone to get things done – but hey, that’s the American way – entrepreneurship is for the rugged. As far as shutting down other producers, our goal is to produce a great vehicle, using our technology, get it into the market, have consumers go crazy for the power of electric driving, the recharging convenience, and then license our technology to all the other car makers.  Licensing is another billion dollar opportunity for us.

K.K. What are some of the road blocks you have had to overcome along the way in testing / production?

D.B.  You ever hear that song “no one knows the trouble I’ve seen?”  Well, our roadblocks have been plenty. No one believed we could build a better engine. Once built, no one believed we could get a patent. Now we have two. No one thought I could get a car built. Now, that I’m introducing the car, no one believes I can build a car company against the big competitors and in the current car market. At each step it’s an excuse not to invest in us. Always with the assumption that I won’t make it to the next step.  Yet each time I do – and now the incredible thing is I find myself still owning 65% of the company.  Now, I’m only a few steps from shocking the world. I learned a saying a few years back – “as an entrepreneur one might have to bleed and cry by him/her self, but we also get to go to the bank by Ourselves.”  It’s that thought that keeps me going.

K.K. Is this more of a luxury car, or will it be something that is affordable to everyone on a scale that will stop the way we pollute the environment?

D.B.  This first vehicle is an SUV; its styling is like that of a Range Rover. We needed to design something that consumers would recognize and have an idea of its value. Once we make some money with the luxury vehicle, I will build an affordable car that I already have on the drawing board and named. That is a secret for now.

K.K. How do you deal with stress of starting something so new?

D.B. That’s a great question and I’m not sure I’ve found the answer. I workout, take long drives just to play music and think. I’m not in a relationship right now, the place where one would find the best stress relief, assuming the relationship is a good one. So, I struggle a bit with managing my stress – I’ll admit I sometimes turn to Mr. Jack Daniels and a mindless TV show. The key is I’m always ready to get back on the grind every morning.

K.K. What are your hobbies?

D.B.  I like to hit golf balls, play chess, ride bikes, but business is my hobby. I also love cooking and construction because I can see the results of my efforts quickly, as opposed to the years it takes to build a business.

K.K. When will your self charging electric car be released to the public?

D.B. As I said earlier, I still have a few more steps to my ultimate goal of the self-charging car. This first car I’m revealing in September 2019 is an all-electric SUV. The strategy is to sell 150 all-electric units (same as what the other automakers are selling) and plow that money back into reducing the size and completing the integration of the supercharger into the electric vehicle – it’s a lot of work, still. To answer your question, I think we will have our self-charging vehicle on the market in early 2021, maybe sooner if all the stars align.

K.K. I noticed you were granted the right to import vehicles as well. What are you planning to do with that?

D.B.  That import license is important because one can’t import vehicles into the USA without approvals from the EPA and DOT. This was a stepping stone for us.

K.K. Where do you see this taking you in the next 5 years?

D.B.  In 5-years Derek Automotive Technologies will be known as America’s first minority-owned car manufacturer and the leader in carbon emission reduction from the transportation sector. We’ll operate in 3 countries, have sales in excess of $600 million and valuation of more than three billion; minting me as a new American billionaire.

K.K. What are your personal, company, and environmental goals?

D.B.  My personal goals are to see my two daughters finish their schooling debt free, or near debt free, find my forever girl, and leave a legacy of having had a huge impact on climate change by reducing carbon emission in the transportation sector.

K.K. When will the launch party be?

D.B. The launch party will now be this fall. We had a bit of a trip through The Department of Transportation and got a bit delayed.  Fall is the perfect time for a launch Party, everyone is back from vacation and ready for what’s new. I’m looking at a few locations as I couldn’t book anything because I was not sure when we’d get all our approvals. 

Awww the stress of it all!

I’ll put out a notice on social media and my e-mail once the date and location is decided.


Katie Kerl checks out the new Avani by Derek Automotive


Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

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Robert Li: Acro Yoga


Text by Robert Li, Copyright 2019


Acro Yoga


Ikigai. Have you heard the term before? It’s a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” Essentially, it’s a reason to get up in the morning. There is a sense of purpose and a reason to enjoy life.  If you take four elements – That which you love, That which you are good at, That which you can be paid for, and That which the world needs – and put them in a Venn diagram, your Ikigai is the intersection of all four. Someone told me that I found my Ikigai in Acro, and I believe she was right.

I came to the US from Taiwan when I was 11 months old and grew up in Huntingdon Valley before attending Drexel University, though I studied abroad in Berlin while working for the German government. I majored in International Area Studies with concentrations in Chinese and German, and minored in Business Administration and History.

After college, I was a professional party promoter and professional cheerleader for the Philadelphia Soul as well as the Philadelphia 76ers while becoming familiar with the point of sale industry. The combination of food and tech seemed like a perfect place.  Food has always been a passion of mine, so it was great to work with staff, managers, and owners all across the country.  Still, I was either working or on call from 10am to 3am every weekday and on call every other weekend.  There were a lot of perks, including working from home and free food when clients insisted I eat, but I felt like a slave to my phone because I had to answer at all hours, no matter what.  When I discovered Acro, something clicked. I wanted to do it all the time.  I realized that the other aspects of Acro align with what I enjoy in life as well: travel, meeting amazing people, and potential for beautiful photography.  At first, Acro was a hobby, but by the time my thoughts, actions, and even dreams involved Acro, I knew a life-changing decision was coming.

With the #ridetherob project, the timing was right. When I started Acro four years ago, I didn’t know what to wear. I figured others must have the same problem. Why not create something that could fill a need? The concept of creating a clothing line became more than a fleeting thought. As my passion for Acro grew into a full blown love affair, I knew I had to take actions instead of just thinking about it. My heart and mind shifted focus from my job to the possibilities of what I could do with Acro. The #ridetherob project was building a lot of momentum, and studios started approaching me to teach. With so many amazing opportunities knocking at my door, I needed to answer the call and see what adventures await. Here was a big step towards the unknown, comforted by the thought that I have a whole community of amazing people supporting me in this adventure.

I wanted to create quality apparel for active lifestyles, and I had no idea where to begin. The first step was to make my intentions known and to make the time for this endeavor. Leaving a stable job with steady income was necessary to see this through. I was a motivated and knowledge-thirsty sponge, soaking in every piece of information and detail. Then I started making moves and developing my brand and products. Active Elixir was born ( It’s the “perfect solution for people of movement.” I would address issues people have with apparel in various movements and provide solutions for them. My focus would be on all the various niche markets, starting with which I was familiar – Acro. Now I am developing Pole Wear, Swimwear, and in the next year, Belly Dance Wear and Social Dance Wear. Items are designed with ideas I’ve had, recommendations from friends, or random inspirations, and once they were realized, I test the prototypes on people who are actively involved in the practice. I listen to what they want, gathered feedback on the piece, made changes, and try again until it’s perfect — functional, comfortable, well-made, and stylish. I offer a direct line to someone who can make the changes you’ve always wanted to see in apparel, especially for your practice. I just hope that when all is said and done, I don’t end up with an absurd amount of women’s clothing in my apartment; I want to give them happy homes. In the near future, I’m looking towards fashion shows and collaborating with yoga studios.

My other pet project is #Ridetherob.  Funny enough, the idea for it came in the shower.  I recently got into Acro, and I wanted to show people how much fun it can be. I didn’t know this little project would evolve into something more and inspire others to create challenges and personal goals beyond expectations. At first, it was to show the world what Acro was, and then it was to make people feel good and happy while creating a deeper connection between human beings. At least, that’s what I observed the first couple of years. Now I realize it shows that people can learn and do things they thought was impossible. I’m also working on adding a philanthropic element to this project as I collaborate with various charities and other events.  My current count is 5,323 people I’ve lifted up on my Journey to 10,000.  The heaviest person I lifted while on the ground was my former rugby teammate who is 360 lbs. The heaviest individual I lifted standing was 250 pounds and almost 7 ft tall. I’ve also lifted a family of 6 at the same time and did a Triple Cupie with 3 flyers standing on my hands.

The Philly Mag article was great.( It was the first published article about the project. Being on Good Day Philadelphia and lifting the anchors as well as just about everyone in the Fox 29 office was also a lot of fun.  When CBS3 asked me to come in, I lifted anyone that wanted to be part of the project, and it seemed to make everyone’s days seeing how happy they were. (

Growing up, I was quite chunky. I would eat everything in sight. Then I got into sports one summer. I lost about 20 pounds unintentionally and just have been active ever since. I played football, wrestled, ran track, fenced, did cheer, and played rugby.  I coached Temple Co-Ed Cheer because the head coach wanted to bring back a co-ed stunt team and asked me to help out. It’s amazing seeing the cheerleaders progress in their skills season to season.   

I am so thankful that I did cheer. I did not know that people tossing would be such a valuable life skill to have. Having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of standing Acro has helped me achieve a variety of skills. It also led me to teaching Acro. One of the people I lifted had her own yoga studio, and she insisted I teach an Acro workshop. I told her I wasn’t certified and have just been doing Acro for a couple of years, but she told me that the way I instructed her into her pose was evidence enough that I would be good at teaching. I taught my first class and really enjoyed it. Having about 20 years of cheer experience also helps out. Because of this foundation, I was able to learn skills in 20 minutes that people work on for a year or more.

Even though I have a strong personal practice, teaching people who are trying Acro for the first time has been really rewarding. Sometimes I find myself in random situations– I’ve been invited to a number of Bachelorette parties, and I would come in and lift everyone. One of my personal goals was to hit a Rewind, which is a dynamic cheer stunt in which the flyer essentially does a back tuck while the base tosses her in the air and then catches her feet as she comes out of the tuck. I was so thrilled that I even did a Happy Dance while holding the flyer in the skill. Unlocking new skills is such an amazing feeling, especially when you work for it. Some other stories include me lifting a flight attendant while 34,000 feet in the air. I’ve done Acro on top of bars at clubs and lounges. In the kitchen or counters of restaurants. At a few gentlemen’s clubs. On stage at a gentlemen’s club. On boats and yachts. On paddle boards. At hospitals. In offices. Every day is an adventure, and I’ll do Acro wherever. The pose depends on who is flying and what feels safe and what I call concrete-ready. 

Acro has even led me to perform and compete in one of the country’s largest competitions of this kind. When I went to see Diamond G a few years ago to support my friend, I saw some Acro in one of the performances. My thought process quickly went from I can do that, to I should do that, to I will do that. For a whole year, I was thinking about who should be on the team and what I should do. I recruited very talented acrobats, aerialists, pole dancers, and exotic dancers to compete for the coveted Diamond G-String title and $15,000. Despite being new to this, we came home with the title and prize money, and I met some amazing people in the process and have the utmost respect for anyone that puts on a show of this magnitude. 

It was a challenging and exciting endeavor, much like starting an apparel company, and I’m learning more about the industry each day. Almost every night before bed and every morning when I wake up, I am talking to my contacts in Asia. There has been no shortage of delays or mistakes that needed to be addressed in a timely manner. My search for reliable manufacturers that can take my ideas and create quality products has led me down some interesting roads. For those who might be thinking about embarking on a similar project, do your research. Be prepared for a lot of things to go the way you don’t expect them to go, and learn how to overcome those challenges.  Learn from your mistakes and apply that knowledge to future situations. Take lots of notes. Make sure you have money put aside because you will be spending more than you think. Believe in yourself. Take calculated risks and put yourself out there. Be kind to everyone. You never know who you’re going to meet who can help you in some way.

It also helps to listen, and I mean really listen to what women (and male consumers too!) have to say.  I’ve learned so much about bras and boobs. It’s still very confusing though. There are many body types and preferences to consider. I’ve learned about various tests women try when deciding which pieces of apparel they purchase—squats, jumps, and inversions. Learning from women firsthand means that I can develop clothing that fits their needs directly. I’m also studying shopping habits and learning about marketing through social media. This is a lot for someone who basically posts twice a month on Instagram. Yes, I’m working on that.

The support from my friends and various Acro communities has been tremendous. I am so grateful for the amazing people that have helped me and believed in me in realizing my vision. It’s heart-warming to see how happy people are with my products. They tell me stories about how great they feel and the amount of compliments they’ve received from wearing my clothing line. It’s really rewarding to hear that after putting so much time, energy, and money into such a huge endeavor.  It can definitely be difficult at times, but it’s been incredibly rewarding, and I’m excited to see what comes next.



About The Author: Robert Li grew up in Huntingdon Valley, PA and resides in Philadelphia. He majored in International Area Studies with concentrations in German and Chinese and Minors in Business Administration and History at Drexel University. He is the Founder of Active Elixir, a clothing brand focused on creating solutions for people of movement through apparel. With his experience as a cheerleader for Drexel University, the Philadelphia Soul, and the Philadelphia 76ers as well as Cheer Coach for Temple University, he is also an AcroYoga instructor teaching at various studios in Philadelphia and Acro festivals across the country.

If you want to get in touch with Rob, you can find him on Instagram – @themojoshow and @activeelixir or email him:

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Kiera Roberto: Saving Daisy



Text and Video by Kiera Roberto, Copyright 2018

Saving Daisy will pick up where the Netflix film “Audrie & Daisy” left off.  This short documentary will follow Daisy Coleman’s journey of healing from lifelong trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, through treatment using EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) Therapy. 

Millions of people from all over the world came to learn about Daisy’s sexual assault when her story went viral and was followed by a feature length documentary.  But that was only the beginning of her journey as a survivor.  With this film, Daisy has joined forces with a team of filmmakers and fellow survivors to follow her vulnerable PTSD recovery process, in an effort to inspire other survivors and their families in recovery.  We will follow her through her EMDR treatment to unlock the layers of trauma from her assault, the tragic death of her father prior to the assault, as well as the recent sudden loss of her younger brother.  Daisy has faced more trauma in her 21 years than anyone should ever be faced with in a lifetime, but this film will prove to survivors everywhere that healing is possible.

This film will become part of the learning tools offered by SafeBAE, the national organization that Daisy helped to found in 2015, which works to prevent sexual assault among teens. 


Please donate. Link to Kickstarter funding


Kiera Roberto: Fimmaker/Producer. Hollywood

Kiera Roberto: Fimmaker/Producer. Hollywood

About The Author: Kiera Roberto has been pursuing film for a couple of years with a few music videos and short films under her belt.  The most important part of the film platform is that she is able to fight issues she firmly believes in.  In addition to this film, Ms. Roberto is on the board of a non profit SAFEBAE that creates educational videos for students in grade schools. This is Kiera’s first contribution to Tony Ward Studio.


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Artist Highlight: Vibe Rouvet – Voice of an Angel


Vibe Rouvet: Music Conservatory of Pau



Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018


Voice of an Angel


Vibe Rouvet is the daughter of TWS contributing illustrator Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy of France.  A stunning resemblance to her mother with talent that runs deep in the family, Ms. Rouvet is an opera student at the Music Conservatory of Pau, France. On the video she sings “Volta la Terrea” from Verdi (extract from the opera: Un ballo in Masquera).  Here singing teacher is Marie Claire Delay. This summer she will be taking a master class in Mozarteum of Salzburg in Austria.




Portrait of Vibe Rouvet 2018


For access to the artist, Alexandra Rouvet Douvernoy’s contributions to Tony Ward Studio,  Click here


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George Krause: Interview With a Legend. May 2018


TW​: You had an exhibition recently in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts. What did returning to your hometown mean to you at this stage of your illustrious career?


GK​: I have many great old friends in Philadelphia. An exhibition in Philadelphia offers me the opportunity to see as many of them as possible. My last exhibition in Philadelphia was in 2009 at the Plastic Club. There were a hundred faces I hadn’t seen in almost fifty years. Sad to say there were a few less in attendance at the opening at the UArts show in 2018. I was pleased to be invited by my alma mater to do a small introspective of work from the last sixty years.


TW: ​What have you observed since you first began photographing people nude with respect to the issue of privacy and the obscenity laws in the USA?

GK​: I don’t know the obscenity laws in the USA. I wrote the following for a book of essays collected by Andy Warhol’s right hand man Gerard Malanga. It has been referred to quite often.

From the book Scopophila: The Love of Looking by Gerard Malanga

Years ago I was accused by my wife of sleeping with all of the women who posed for me. My photographs suggested to her that I was getting more gratification out of photographing these nudes than just the making of images. This is perhaps the most common conception or misconception of voyeurism. I find it all but impossible to mix lovemaking with the act of making a photograph. But there is in fact a certain amount of seduction inherent, and for me necessary, in the making of a nude image, particularly a photographic image. Since my work often deals with fantasy, I want to create not only an ideal woman but a mythological woman of my dreams. This requires a talent, (unfortunately, one I’ve not yet fully developed) to transcend reality, which is helped greatly by encouraging in myself a fictional obsession and passion for the subject. The model in turn can respond with a desire to fulfill the artist’s attempt at transcendence or with a baser, narcissistic love for the attention being paid her, making love more to the camera than to the photographer. My wife’s accusations were, of course, not true, but when I thought about it I decided that it should be best if the photographer would photograph the woman (women) he was sleeping (in love) with. The accusation does reveal the artist /model fantasies imagined by those outside this collaboration. There is the erotic vulnerability of the undressed model with the dressed photographer (slave/master). At the first photographic session I’m nervous with the responsibility/obligation to the model to create something special and anxious with the potential fictional passion. In time I realize I can control the situation and the amount of desire needed to create the image I’m after.

The very act of peering through a small window to see a naked woman in the camera’s viewfinder suggests that of a Peeping Tom. There is the cowardice of distancing through the camera’s intervention to change the sexual reality of a nude woman into the context of a work of art. This is an attempt to sublimate the voyeuristic

nature of the nude. It is possible to increase the degree of distance in viewing a photograph of the nude by including another subject. This could be the photographer or other photographers. I am also thinking of the paintings of Susannah and the Elders. We may find it more acceptable to study the nude’s genitalia in the photograph when there are others included in the image for this purpose.

While an image of a woman nude may no longer evoke that of a fallen woman, a nude model today is perhaps considered a liberated woman, envied by some for her freedom in exposing her genitals and suspect by others for her morality or lack of it. This affects our take on the image.

I have shown my photographs of nudes to many art historians, and many of them have admitted difficulty in appreciating the nude in a photograph, in contrast to having no problem with the nude in other mediums (painting, sculpture, etc.). This suggests a special quality of voyeurism inherent in the “real” photographic medium.

Almost everyone approaches a photograph of a nude voyeuristically. We tend to compare our bodies with those in the photograph. There is a vicarious thrill of exposing ourselves in front of the camera. And there is the hint of a more intimate relationship between the model and the photographer. Photographers who place themselves in the image with the nude play with this reading. If the photographer is also nude and/or there is physical contact, this hint is underscored.

Photographs of nude models in poses that suggest the erotic demand a more immediate sexual interpretation. We are now back to peeking through the keyhole and there is always the danger of the voyeur being caught.

Generally, in viewing photographs of nudes we stand where the camera stood. The photographer has gone, and we are left alone with the subject of the image.

In working with the nude, we must realize the degree of unnaturalness that takes place. Even in a comfortable environment, the camera’s presence (and then our own) intrudes upon the nude, and when an awareness of technique (special lighting and camera effects) are added, along with our unwilling concern for props and costume, the intrusion must be that much greater. This, of course, can be deadly or these problems accepted and put to good use. The photographer can guide us as to how we are to react to the genitalia staring at us from the photograph, be it humor, fear, disgust, or even the pleasures of the voyeur.



TW:​ Are there any areas of the medium that have been under explored as a result of the longstanding position of the advertising industries stringent rules with respect to nudity and ad placement in mainstream magazines and online platforms?

GK:​ I’ve never had to deal as you have with the nude in advertising. I have had enough difficulty in the fine art end. I just recently had a couple of images censored by Instagram. I find it sad but also funny that my friend Spencer Tunick has to block out the genitalia of the thousands of participants in each of his images for Facebook.


TW: ​You taught for many years at the University of Houston. What was it about teaching that you enjoyed the most? The least?

GK:​ In almost every class I’ve taught there have been a few students that made coming to class a joy. From these students I and the other students learned a great deal. As photography classes became more popular, photography the passion, the excitement and work ethic declined. Unfortunately, in recent years I’ve found the majority of students far too complacent. They feel they know all they need to know and do not care for criticism: only praise. I often quote them the words of Robert Hughes “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is the consolation prize awarded to the less talented”.


TW:​ As for legacy, would you be satisfied if history writes that “Fountainhead” is your Mona Lisa? If not, is there another picture from your various bodies of work that should be given equal treatment?

GK:​ Fountainhead is certainly in Philadelphia the favorite image, although it was originally rejected for use as a poster by the Bicentennial Committee. Other images that are as popular are The Shadow, which won first place in the recent Family of Man competition, Swish which has appeared on many more posters and propaganda, White Horse and Newspaper. It all depends on the time and place.


TW:​ Where were you when you received the call from the Museum of Modern Art when you learned that you would be included in John Szarkowski’s seminal text, Looking at Photographs? How did that inclusion impact the direction of your work after the publication date in 1973.

GK:​Yes, it’s a great book and an honor to be included but even more important to me were earlier encounters with MOMA. The following is from an interview with SHOTS magazine that might help explain:

It is the dream of all art students to have their work, one day, hanging in a major museum. As students we all thought that if we worked and studied long and hard this might just be possible. In 1959 one of my teachers, Sol Libson who was one of the co founders of the Photo League along with Sid Grossman, suggested I take a portfolio of my work to show to the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Edward Steichen purchased a few of my images for the study collection. In 1961 one of those images was included in a MOMA Recent Acquisitions show. A few years later, 1963, the new director, John Szarkowski in the first show he curated, invited me to be in the exhibition titled “Five Unrelated Photographers”.


TW:​ What was the most fun shoot or series of pictures you have ever produced?

GK:​ With out a doubt it is the San Miguel de Allende shoot in 2014. I photographed over a period of a few days a hundred lovely people in the nude, half over the age of sixty-five. These images became the exhibit “San Miguel Revelado” and was shown in 2015 at the Museo de Bellas Artes, a fifteenth century convent that is a world heritage site. In four rooms all connected by huge arches I hung sixty life sized nude images. Over eight hundred people attended opening night. Every day for three months more than two hundred visitors came to see the ex convent and my show.



TW: ​If you could give a single piece of advice for the young shooter that wants to survive solely on making pictures for a living, what would it be?

GK:​ If you have a vision that drives you to make images I think it is better to find another occupation that does not conflict with your vision. I have worked at so many jobs to support my personal work. Some of these jobs involved photography in advertising, journalism. I did not find it too difficult to solve the demands of others. The great challenge for me has always been to search for the answers to my own questions. There have been a few rare assignments from friendly art directors that led to an image or two that answered both our needs. But not many. I taught for many years and found I was concerned more about the student’s vision than my own. My advice, not a facetious as it may sound is to find a rich patron.


TW:​ What are your impressions of the digital revolution and its impact on the Fine Art of photography?

GK: ​I think we are still at the beginning of understanding what this new technology can tell us what we are about. For me the impact has been more physical. I can no longer put in the long hours in the darkroom developing thousand of rolls and sheets of film. I have a new knee and hip to go with my new eyes and I hope to travel once more with a much smaller and lighter camera bag. The digital revolution came just at the right time in my life.


TW: ​What is your relationship to Frank- besides the obvious- and when were you first introduced to this grand master of the craft?

GK:​ I was invited to write as were almost 200 other photographers a tribute to celebrate Frank’s birthday in the 2016 edition of the Americans List. Below is my contribution:

In 1957 I was a student in my third year at the then Philadelphia Museum School of Art. I had studied printmaking, advertising and graphic design with one basic fundamentals of photography class thrown in for good measure.

Feeling unsure of my career path and the pressure of the compulsory draft into the army, I enlisted at the end of my junior year. I dreamed of being stationed overseas in Europe for two years, returning wiser and better-focused for that final year.

Instead I was assigned to South Carolina as a clerk in a Counter Intelligence Unit. A position at which I did not excel and certainly not the tour of duty I had imagined for myself. London, Paris, Berlin… Columbia SC?

One day while at the files I noticed one of the agents holding a small object in his hand and a puzzled look on his face. I immediately recognized it as a Weston photographic light meter. I pushed the low light button, the needle moved and from that moment on I was the photographer for the Counter Intelligence Corps.

And then came the rumors of Robert Frank’s The Americans. This controversial book with its harshly criticized images defying many of the conventions of the times and seen by so many as depressing and negative, inspired me to dream of a Guggenheim and the chance to discover my own America.

In the early 1960’s the burning question in the art world was “Is photography art?” Clement Greenberg—a leading art critic of the time— decided to answer this once and for all. “No” he declared “Photography was incapable of creating a serious work of art”. Robert Frank and his The Americans so forcefully helped refute that now-discredited position.

It is a difficult choice as a favorite but I keep coming back to Trolley-New Orleans, the photograph reproduced on the dust jacket, the very first Robert Frank image I saw. It is a perfect combination of abstract formal design (those crazy reflections in the windows above) and photographic reality (great faces in subjective eye contact) that together make the image and it’s social statement so powerful.


TW: ​What is a typical day like for George Krause these days? Any new projects on the horizon that TWS readers will be the first to read about?

GK:​ I work on new images, edit old images and like to think I have begun to write my “memoirs”. Someday soon I will do a book on the Sfumato series.


Question Mark. From the I Nudi series.

Question Mark. From the I Nudi series.


George Krause was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1937 and received his training at the Philadelphia College of Art. He received the first Prix de Rome and the first Fulbright/Hays grant ever awarded to a photographer, two Guggenheim fellowships and three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Krause’s photographs are in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. In 1993 he was honored as the Texas Artist of the Year.
He retired in 1999 from the University of Houston where in 1975 he created the photography program and now lives in Wimberley, Texas.


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