I have been creating imagery examining performance for over 30 years. One of my early mentors once explained to me that it was my job to go beyond the obvious and create images that show my viewers something they could not or did not see.
This image of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown presents a piece of Gate that I feel is quite characteristic of who he was as a performer in the 21st century. It was shot at the Ottawa Blues Festival in the summer of 2002, three years before Gate died. It was late in the day at the Louisiana Stage, and Gate’s mahogany brown leather-embossed Gibson Firebird V guitar rested comfortably on his lap as he slid into a nice blues number. There is no need for a face in this image to identify the performer he was. Gate’s old leathered fingers resting on the old leather pick guard is all that is necessary for anyone to recall a favorite Gatemouth set. His hands were more telling than his eyes.