is a photographic artist from Rochester, New York.
John has an extensive and varied career in the photographic arts. Since working in arts education at The School of Visual Arts NYC and Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Photographic Arts & Sciences, John now devotes his time and talents to his own freelance commercial and fine art photography projects. John has participated consistently in public exhibitions since 1973 with works in numerous publications and private and public collections including Wallace Memorial Library Archives, George Eastman House, Monroe Community Hospital, Russian Fine Art Photographers Union and Iron County Museum.
John explains himself on his website in 10 points:
1. Born in Michigan's Upper Peninsular: Became a Yooper.
2. Got his first camera, age 10
3. Joined a MASH unit (US Army) and was trained as an X-Ray technician
4. Stationed in Germany during the Cold War
5. Studied photography at Rochester Institute of Technology, BFA Degree
6. Freelanced in New York City shooting magazines & ad agencies
7. Began teaching career at the School of Visual Arts in NYC
8. Accepted a teaching position at RIT which led to Tenure in the
School of Photographic Arts & Sciences
9. Quit working at RIT (early retirement)
10. Continues freelancing in photography, doing things he's always wanted to do.
John's contribution to the Personal Histories exhibition is a touching and intriguing entry entitled
"All My Love, Mike".
It is a collection of images and text on loose pages housed in a hand made clam-shell box.
"Dad was drafted in 1942. He was a surgeon. First he was sent to Texas to train with other doctors in an Army Hospital unit. Mom followed him there. When he was sent to the South Pacific she went back home to Michigan. For Christmas in 1944 she traveled to Denver to stay with relatives for a few months. Every day, as much as possible, they exchanged letters. Mom would enclose pictures, mostly of their new son, me, which he was eager to see.
After their deaths, within a few months of each other, I found Dad's letters and Mom's pictures hidden in separate places. The pictures I examined immediately but held the letters for years before I was able to read them. This book is a tribute to the love, respect and longing I witnessed in the letters.
This book was created in 2014 over a period of about 3 months. I am responsible for all scanning, photography and assembly. After some deliberation I decided that the pages should be loose and in a box as the original letters and pictures were.
The text was scanned from letters to my mother (70 total) covering dates from September 1944 to February 1945 (the only ones I have). The pictures were scanned from snapshots found in a book where Dad had kept them. The backgrounds used in some of the pages were created in the studio. Text, pictures and backgrounds were assembled and printed from InDesign and printed to archival standards. The box was created with Canapetta Bookcloth and Flanders British Tan bonded leather, also to archival standards."
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT OF THE ARTIST - JOHN RETALLACK