”In every aspect of my life, my secret code lies in the pursuit of beautyand harmony, and of practicing generosity and compassion.”
Well Diamonds Baron Wolman, great soul and amazing man, is an American photographer best known for his work in the late 1960s for the music magazine Rolling Stone, becoming the magazine’s first editor of photography from 1967 to 1970. Because of Wolman’s virtually unlimited access to his subjects, his photographs of Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stone, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison (Uh…) and other musicians were the graphic centerpieces of Rolling Stone’s
Interview with Baron Wolman
Let’s share some secrets about your passion: photography. The mostimportant moment in the history of your passion.
The moment I first picked up a camera and looked through the viewfinder, Isomehow understood that with photography I could create my own unique life.
The first time you were allowed to go on stage as a photographer for aband was surely a significant moment. Can you describe the emotion?
Ecstasy. A super high. A natural high. A supernatural high. Being onstage with the Jimi Hendrix Experience was magical; I was “in the zone” andfelt as if I was a member of the band. The photos from that session wereunexpectedly successful, one after another.
What is our favorite feeling to photograph? Why?
My favorite feeling is not really an “feeling.” Rather it is the momentwhen a subject gives me his or her own personal emotion, direct from his orher soul, something for me and my camera alone. That is my favoriteemotion.
Describe your first relation of your childhood with music.
At home there was always music on the radio. But strangely it was onlyclassical music chosen by my mother. It was not until I was in high schoolthat I began to listen to the music of the moment.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Beauty and harmony guide my life. In the Garden of Eden there were beautyand harmony; it was the natural order. We humans polluted the Garden. In aworld now filled with darkness, sadness, struggle, and tragedy, we mustdiligently seek beauty and harmony to keep the light of life burningbrightly.
Were there any photographers who inspired you?
Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Cartier-Bresson and the many Magnumphotographers.Describe in few words that feeling when you have a womanin front of your camera.
The joy of photographing a lovely woman cannot be described in words. It isinfinite mental and spiritual bliss because, again, it touches upon the dualnotions of beauty and harmony which mean so much to me. In my photographsof women I search for visual answers to the enduring questions of life.
You cross art photography, commercial and editorial. Is there one youenjoy most?
Commercial pays the bills. Editorial involves me with life. Art is theexpression of my creative soul. Each is enjoyable in its own way, each isfulfilling, each reminds me why I became a photographer.Your favorite accessory, other than your camera?
My subject: itself, himself, herself, themselves.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographingmusicians and artists?
For artists in the moment of performance, the challenge is to capture oneinstant that reflects in a single photograph both the great joy ofperforming and the great talent of the musician. For artist portraits thechallenge is to create a trusting situation where the artist will revealhis/her true self to me and my camera.
We have this opportunity to talk with you thanks to one of our favorite artists ever, Arianna Antinori. What do you think about her and the love for Janis Joplin.
Arianna has the passion of Janis. Arianna has the soul of Janis. Ariannahas the spirit of Janis. Arianna has the talent of Janis. Arianna is thereincarnation of Janis Joplin. Arianna is an Italian treasure.
The most important moment every day of your life?When I wake up in the morning and discover that I am still alive.Your most beautiful picture?The one I will take of Mira.
If you could live anywhere on this beautiful planet where would youbuild your dream?
I find beauty everywhere. When I find beauty, it is there I would like tolive, if only for a few days, weeks, months, years. I have already built mydream and I live it every day: look at my photos!
Is there anyone you would love to photograph?
Not “anybody.” Everybody! As you can tell, I am fascinated by women. Ilove them, I love their minds, I love their bodies, I love their smells, andI love to photograph them.
Your dream for the next years?
For the next years – and I don’t have many years remaining – my dream is totravel and spend time with the people I love. And, of course, to continueto take pictures.Are you a rider on the storm?When he recorded this song, Jim Morrison had already decided that he wasgoing to go to Paris, where he would die. I have no plans to go to Paris.I have no plans to die. But, of course, I will do both: go to Paris again,and die, as we all must.
Do you have any tips for future photographers and creatives outthere?
Stay with your passion. Remember it is not about money, it is about art, it is about self-expression, it is about finding the essential “you.” Life is short. As Joseph Campbell advised, “Follow your bliss.”
Every woman is beautiful in her own way. Some have exterior beauty. Somehave interior beauty. Some are blessed with both. My love of all women isendless.