Direct Mailer Part 2: Bruce Davidson & the Tagger

Chris Buck posing with a tagged mail box, 6th Ave in the mid-50s, Manhattan 1982

My new mailer, EUPHEMIST is bound with a French fold and hidden within each fold is some odd or interesting biographical item. The right edge of each page is perforated, as in invitation to tear open the French fold.

Tucked between my black-and-white portrait of Kevin Smith and a grid of my Xerox ads is this photo of me at 18 taken by one of my parents on our family trip to New York in 1982. I had just gotten a proper 35mm camera at this point and I was excited to be shooting transparencies on this vacation. I shot a lot of pictures of my siblings and parents, and a handful of tourist sites (I had passed my camera to my mom or dad to get this street portrait). Being a pop culture obsessive, the highlight of the trip was being in the audience for Saturday Night Live. The show was not hot at the time (hence, getting last minute tickets), the host was Robert Urich, the musical guest Mink DeVille and funniest bits on it featured a modest young fellow named Eddie Murphy.

When I got back home to Toronto I made an 11×14″ print of this photo and hung it on my bedroom wall. It was very cool and New York, with the tagging of my name on the mail carrier’s box. Fifteen years later Magnum published a book of landscape photos and while flipping through it one day I found a photo from Bruce Davidson’s Subway series that pictured graffiti of the word “Chris,” and was shot in 1982. I looked more closely and saw that the tag also included the number “217.” This faintly rung a bell, so I dug through my old photos and finding my old midtown portrait I saw that, yes, it was the same tagger. Amazing! To be connected to photo history like that was a pretty exciting find.

This entry was posted in Behind The Scenes, Biography, Family, Photography, Snapshots, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Direct Mailer Part 2: Bruce Davidson & the Tagger

  1. Mandy says:

    Small world, huh? Great story!

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