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From The Vault Of Art Shay: Signs

By Art Shay in News on May 2, 2012 6:00PM

(Legendary Chicago-based photographer Art Shay has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. In this week's look at his archives, reminds us that a picture tells a thousand words, but maybe an extra word can help.)

The signs and portents of our age abuse our confused and overloaded eyes. The TV jump-cut—scenes mindlessly lashed together—befuddle us. (The wisdom Scott Fitzgerald borrowed from Freud comes approximately alive: Sanity consists of being able to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and yet continue to function.)

The fast-eyed young editors who grew up on TV jump cuts of The Mousketeers dispense history to us on the screen demand that we juggle many more ideas than two at a time. We are in the age of the film editor: the person who used to cut and paste films together is now king to a surrealistic shuffle of visual cards.The entire football career of a star reduced to a few heroic touchdown catches and his handshake with a pro team that's giving him a seven figure ride into even more fame.

An old dinosaur in the image business—me—didn't have Photoshop and jump cuts and was forced to use the language we had learned—words and pictures, words in pictures—to make our images clear and even entertaining. Here are a few the media of my day used...

If you can't wait until this time every Wednesday to get your Art Shay fix, please check out the photographer's blog, which is updated regularly. Art Shay's book, Nelson Algren's Chicago, is also available at Amazon.