Kevin O'Leary 40 Years of Photography
When I was a teenager nearing the end of high school my stepfather George sat me down and asked me what I was planning to do with my life. I told him I wanted to become a photographer. He told me it was a bad idea and urged me to consider college so that I could pursue a different path. I took his advice. I never considered my entrepreneurial journey to be the pursuit of money for I have loved every business I have started or been a part of. I am a capitalist and believe the pursuit of wealth is the most noble cause on earth, not for the money but for the freedom it provides. Even the freedom to become what I have always wanted to be, a photographer.
I bought my first camera in 1970, a Soviet made Zenit-E SLR. I still have the first roll of B&W 35millimeter film I developed and the images I printed from it, scratches and all. The smell of developer and fixer from the countless hours I have spent in darkrooms is part of my DNA. Over the years as I began to earn money I kept upgrading my equipment and to this day I always carry a camera by my side. As an investor and television host I have traveled the world and have had many unique opportunities to capture images that I could have only dreamed about when I was a teenager in my high school photo club. Today I have tens of thousands of images from dozens of countries stretching across multiple decades.
While working on the television production “Redemption Inc.” I met Olga Korper, Clair Christie, Nicholas Metivier and Stephen Bulger. They are some of the photography world’s best art dealers and curators. I am in perpetual debt for their advice and guidance in mounting this project. I also wish to thank master technicians and photographers Noel Chenier, Stephen Kralik, Ramin Wright and Rebecca Fazio for their meticulous skills and thousands of hours spent in coaxing out the best images possible from original negatives in some cases over 30 years old. My wife Linda showed extraordinary patience and editorial skills as I sought her opinion and recollection on thousands of images as i compiled and edited photographs at all times of the day and night. My thanks to Charles Chiu and his team at Colourgenics who printed the work and Peter Porebski and his wife Elizabeth at The Guilder who did the archival framing and Peter Hill who helped curate the show and mounted it. They are all master craftsmen.
When I look at these images they take me back to the spot I was standing when I took them, positive proof you can time travel! I hope you enjoy viewing this work it as much as I did shooting it.