Category: Alex M Wolff

Don Most – Even Happier Days for our Featured Artist.

Don Most at The Cutting Room in NYC

…I started off doing some jazz clubs out here in LA, and they went great.  I did some in New York before The Cutting Room, like 54 Below and Iridium jazz club. From there it just started growing in other parts of the country as well.

I cut a CD called “D Most Mostly Swinging,” with this great 18-piece band of wonderful Los Angeles jazz and studio musicians, studio musicians, and our great producer and trumpet player, William Ario.  And so that’s out. It’s been hard to grow because the live performance thing is almost impossible during COVID.

I’ve been dying to get back into doing live performance, more films and television. I just did a short film, which is called When George Got Murdered, and it’s a really interesting film about the George Floyd incident. I don’t know when that’s coming out, and I did some TV prior to that, a pilot called Puck Heads, where I play the owner of a minor league hockey team, so we’ll see what happens with that. Hopefully, that gets picked up. And I’m supposed to do a couple of other films that got put on hold.

Suzanne Sheran – Featured Artist

Pet Portraits by Suzanne Sheran

…After I finished up commissions I had on my list, I was basically just painting… One day I pulled up a random photo online, decided just to paint a random dog, and I noticed this dog is a shelter dog, and it was a light bulb that went off where I said, “You know what, why don’t you, during Covid, when I’m home, why don’t I reach out to some local shelters and paint some of the long-time dogs and see if I can post them on social media, get them noticed and hopefully find them homes….

Premiere Issue of Long Island Portfolio

Long Island Portfolio magazine publishers Alex M. Wolff and John Joseph Dowling, Jr. are thrilled to be able to support and showcase such great artists and their art in our first issue, Fall 2020. Enjoy the art and stories of Steven Calapai, Billy Mira, Maya Frank, Jeffrey Steele, EDward Steven Katz, Mike Gomes, Tony DeCaprio, Lenny Stucker, and our cover artist Robyn Bellospirito.

Long Island Portfolio magazine is on a mission to help artists of every kind promote themselves and their work from Montauk to Manhattan. We create great content to build and amplify artists social media presence. Nominate your favorite artist to be a Featured Artist and help improve their recognition and reach in our region.

In this issue we have painters, photographers, a jazz musician, country and rock singer song writer, and even stories around food, fashion, cars, cosplay and fantasy, with to poets!

All The World Is A Stage

“For me, I started cosplaying about 5 years ago. I started with pretty easy costumes. I’ve progressed to a little more elaborate ones, but nothing that costs a fortune. After I did my first cosplay, which I think was Elektra from Daredevil, it was just so much fun bringing a character you love to life. I was hooked after that. My favorite cosplays were The Bride from Kill Bill and Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. It’s cool when people want to take your picture because they love the character. For me, In some ways it’s like being a kid again and “playing dress up”, and getting to nerd out at the same time.  It’s more fun than I thought it would be.”

Which characters show up often depends on what’s popular. I used to think cosplayers choose a character because they have similar looks and build to a character, but I quickly learned that was not always the case. I ran into and photographed “Jessica Jones” and thought how lucky the cosplayer was to look just like her. But the next day, she was someone else and pulled that off without a hitch. Ghostbusters, and the usual superheroes are always represented, and the last few years Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy have been super popular.  Cosplayers often form into groups that will become the whole cast of a show, such as Northeast Watch, when the group does Game of Thrones. 

Cover Artist Robyn Bellospirito

Long Island Portfolio Robyn Bellospirito

Robyn: Yes. My favorite shoot with you was in the woods because we did four different photo shoots in one. I felt free to be whatever it was I was feeling in the moment. I brought several costume changes that were easy where I could just throw something on over what I was wearing and it totally transformed it. Not only was I free to express myself through movement ’cause I do dance and art modeling and I’ll work that into it.

One of the greatest things I can receive as an artist is freedom to express myself. It’s always easy to work with you because you’re always open to my ideas and I could just emote. When I saw the photographs afterward, I looked at what you saw and you captured the angles, the moments when it felt very intense and expressive for me, and you captured these beautifully. Sometimes you would give minimal guidance, like what we got from the fairy shot that turned that into such magic.

I didn’t know what you were seeing and when I saw the finished work …

you did Photoshop to it, the green one where I’m reaching out… I could not have done that work on my own. I can be on my end and do my part, but I that collaboration is necessary in order for me to gain something much greater than myself that I couldn’t have done on my own.

Alex: If you look at the different photos that we’ve got, they’re very, very different they don’t even look like they’re from the same shoot or same session. It’s almost like you changed costume then the whole world changed around you. You used the term transformation before and it was just an amazing thing for me to capture. Then there are limitations when you’re in nature about what’s there, so there has to be in my eyes a capture process and for me, the capture starts with capturing who you are at peak moments of emotion and then trying to enhance that to tell the story. So the collaboration is ongoing and it continues from the time we decided we’re going to do a shoot.

Publishers Interview – Alex M. Wolff

John Dowling Interviews PublisherAlex M Wolff

Sometime around 2008, the realization hit me fully and I changed my working title at Concierge Photography from Photographer to Photographic Artist (and added Director of Photography the last couple of years when I started directing photography and lighting for local indy director, Maria Sawoch Filipone). And the change came very suddenly.  Typically, I endeavored to capture an image in the camera, and it either met my objective or it didn’t. I built up a small library of really good photographs, and a really large library of, to quote Agent 86, “Missed it by that much!”

One image convinced me to change from what I categorized as a Capture mindset to a Create mindset. Although it started as 2 images I took while running race committee for Sagamore Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, I saw potential for something better and I sat down in my first serious Photoshop session. About 9 hours later, I had created an image called Happy Fleet. I won’t bore you with the details, but the image Illustration of the Year for Professional Photographers of Greater New York, and Town of Oyster Bay People’s Choice Environmental Photo of the Year awards. It’s one of my bestselling artworks.

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Featured Artist Steven Calapai

Steven: To the art. Yeah, just make it happen. People fail to realize that there’s so many people in the world, talking about billions of people. So if you bring, let’s just say you bring a piece of art, you’re just starting out and you really love it and you bring it to a gallery and they hate it, it doesn’t mean that every gallery in the world hates it. And emerging artists today have a bigger advantage than I did growing up because they have the internet, which I didn’t have. Now, the internet’s everywhere. It can really help them to find out where to go and where to sell, which is so important.

Alex:  And that actually brings us to why Long Island Portfolio came about…

Steven: Yeah, what a great idea.

Alex: is because my work, my friend’s work, my daughter’s work, my wife’s work, nobody’s work is getting seen. Now, we live on Long Island, and we surround artists. They’re all over the place and we never see their work in some other places like the Art League of Huntington, and Huntington Art Council. But now that the galleries are closed, you can’t even go see somebody’s art. The museums are closed, and I thought that if I’m going to spend my time, and at this point in time of my life… I already help 25 or 30 different charities. I want to help artists get their work seen. Art needs to be seen. Art each it’s potential for everybody when it’s in somebody’s garage or hanging in their own home.

Steven:  Yeah. Very true.

Alex: You get to really make that difference in somebody’s life. If someone… If you could flip somebody emotionally, like your work does.

Steven:  That’s the whole idea. When you look at my art… And it happened to you, and it happens to everybody that looks at it. There’s so much to see and there are so many layers and sometimes you have to peel those layers back, look beyond the layers and see what’s really there. But there’s so much going on and in all of them, it’s just amazing. And art to me is something you could stare at and look at for hours and keep coming back to it and seeing something different every time you come back to it. So that’s what I create. And that’s basically what I do.

Alex: And your experience, actually, because your work is so different, and your influences are really across the board.

Steven:  Oh, absolutely. Yeah, Damien Hirst, big influence on me. Of course, Warhol, Jackson Pollock, love them. Absolutely.

Featured Artist Billy Mira

Yeah, that’s what I’m really proud of. It’s not a tribute band.  I do a lot of cover music and I do it my way. I work a lot with Eric Schwartz and the people that have come on board with me,  and help support the vision and really believe in what we’re doing. It’s something I’m very proud of, I’m sure in the history of entertainment there have been similar concepts, but as of right now there’s nothing like it, it is like a variety show. We come out, interact with the audience. One of the things I’m really proud of is it’s not a tribute show, it’s a tribute but in pieces, you know.

Alex:  Well you play so many different genres and artists in a single show. You mentioned Eric Schwartz. He leads the horn section and horns really bring a lot of depth to any music and in some cases even leads in parts of the show.

Billy: Yeah, so, you know the greatest thing is that I can sit down for a couple minutes to do stand up. It’s not straight stand up. It’s not straight Impressions and all this and maybe some John Travolta and some David Lee Roth or an Ozzie Osbourne  impression,  but I can incorporate all of that stuff to introduce songs, and also with it telling the story of my life and what really turns me on as a performer, and I think it really comes out in the show.

Mike Gomes Getting Started

Model Mike Gomes on Getting Started

it suits work in this profession perfectly. Big time models would not be where they are today if they never took that first step. The first, and most important step is investing in yourself. Every new and upcoming model must have digitals. These photos show agencies your natural look from different angles. Clear, professional (but untouched) headshots, full-body, ¾ shots and profiles are what agencies want to see. Anyone can edit, filter or Photoshop a picture to make themselves look perfect, but they want to see the real, natural you! Hiring a professional photographer for headshots may seem overwhelming, because many have high rates. However, if modeling is something you’re serious about pursuing, it’s a step you must take.

            When I first made the decision to model, I had no idea how it would turn out. I looked online for photographers in my area, and came across Alex Wolff of Concierge Photography who had so many great reviews on his page. Making the investment was scary, but I knew I had to take a chance on myself. When I shot with Alex, I was definitely nervous at first. While it is important for a model to be confident, no photographer wants to work with a “know it all”. I understood that Alex was the expert, any time he wanted me to tilt my head, eyes, or reposition my body, I did. He was there to help me, and he knew what the best look was for me. Not only did Alex take my initial headshots, but he saw something in me. He kicked my modeling career into high gear and I wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for him.

Maya Frank – Featured Artist

AW: And I’m seeing something over there on the chair (referring to Maya’s paint pallet)

MF: Yeah, it is my, one of my tools. So I mix and match my paints and millions of brushes that I have – I draw, I paint, with anything that I see next to me. So, that could be an art piece as well –

AW: Yes, I was thinking that we’d photograph it and use that as part of the article.

MF: They actually have that in the city. They have like a big, I forgot what it’s called, they have a collection of… from the different artists –

AW: The palettes –

MF: The palettes from different artists, from, centuries, and they’re selling them as art pieces.

AW: I think they are. You want to hear a funny story, I went to Jackson Pollock’s house, are you familiar with Jackson Pollock? He does, he’s passed away quite a few years, but he did drip and splatter paintings. He lays canvas on the floor, and would spread his paint, and move it all over the place, and a lot of his paint would miss the canvas. So around the edges of the canvas, you’d have all this paint splatter. I made artwork by photographing his paint splatter.

MF: Oh, well that’s, that’s very interesting.

AW: It was awesome to see. What pieces are you working on now?

MF: Well, this I just finished. And I’m working on the piece ‘Medusa’ for past three years’ I believe. I wanted to bring character to it and thoughts. It’s still in my head.

AW: And I’ve noticed you have lots of black and white pieces as well as the color pieces.

A Conversation with Elliott Gould at Cinema Arts Centre

Cinema Arts Centre Huntington logo

Join us for a lively Zoom conversation with Elliott Gould, whose work over the past 50 years has made him an icon of American cinema.
Following a run of prominent stage roles on Broadway, Elliott Gould emerged into the wider public’s consciousness with Paul Mazursky’s 1969 sexual revolution classic Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. In the half-century that has followed, he has created a rich body of work in both movies and television.
His collaborations with director Robert Altman in M*A*S*H, The Long Goodbye, and California Split, were crucial works in establishing a new wave of American filmmaking in 1970s Hollywood.
In 1971, Gould produced and starred in the beloved screen adaptation of Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders. The many highlights of Gould’s career include Getting Straight, Capricorn One, Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch, The Silent Partner, The Lemon Sisters, Bugsy, Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming, Ruby Sparks, American History X, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, and, as well as his recurring role as the beloved Ruben Tishikoff in Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, and Gary Ross’ Ocean’s 8.

Super Exciting Work

Earlier this week my friend Adam Zimmerman of Syl-Lee Antiques put me in touch with a mutual contact that is a leader in the art auction world. I was in East Meadow at World Auction Gallery where I was hired to take photos to help authenticate a large painting that was recently found in a warehouse in New York City.

Even though the piece was signed by the artist, World Auction Gallery partner Ben Nejat is having the piece authenticated so his client can get the maximum value of the sale, and the buyer has 100 percent confidence that the painting is indeed an original.

I was thrilled to be in front of an unknown work of a popular artist. I am honored to be entrusted with a critical, but by no means final step of the authenticity certification process. After finding the art, photographs are the next step. Details need to be captured as accurately as possible as they are vital for authentication.

Art Destination Long Island

Jackson Pollock Barn Floor Splatter by Alex M Wolff

Known for a special quality of light especially on the East End, Long Island has always been home to great and famous artists. Some of those artists were born and raised here, others were transient, coming here seasonally for the light or social life. The Hamptons still host artists of all kinds.

Long Island Portfolio Covers

Live Performance Orestes by Alex M Wolff

I WANT THE COVER! Almost every call I pick up for Long Island Portfolio, from an artist or their agent, gallery owner, clothing designer or restaurant owner, starts with those words. I am not sorry to say, the cover is not for sale. Each issue of LI Portfolio is dedicated to timely themes. Art for the cover should be attention grabbing…