x

The Hub

News, Notes, Talk

Beowulf Sheehan on what it was like to photograph Cormac McCarthy.

Beowulf Sheehan

December 1, 2022, 3:38pm

On the occasion of the Center for Fiction Exhibition, Beowulf Sheehan reflects on his experience photographing Cormac McCarthy:

Alone in my studio on July 22, 2014, I dial his number. Cormac McCarthy’s voice is gentle, our conversation congenial. We discuss his fondness for the Santa Fe Institute, for science, for his friends there. We talk about art and his wishes for his author portrait. I remember his telling me his favorite film is Five Easy Pieces.

Exactly three weeks later my assistant and I arrive early at the Santa Fe Institute. Cormac McCarthy is already in the kitchen. We say our hellos and dive in, Cormac all the while at ease as we work across his second home.

We soon pack and follow Cormac to his house. There we follow the adobe, the light, and him, at one point photographing him with his “new” Olivetti typewriter where he works in his bedroom. The words “The Passenger” are written on an adjacent wall.

Our session ends as it began, the three of us smiling at each other with thanks for the time to create together. Later, as we slow to an intersection during our drive back to Santa Fe, a truck takes a turn as we wait ours at the stop sign. The driver is Cormac McCarthy.

Cormac McCarthy, Santa Fe Institute Courtyard, August 12, 2014.
Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan.

*

Cormac McCarthy, Home with Olivetti Typewriter, New Mexico, August 12, 2014.
Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan.

*

Cormac McCarthy, Santa Fe Institute Courtyard, August 12, 2014.
Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan.

*

THE PASSENGER: Cormac McCarthy by Beowulf Sheehan is on view now at The Center for Fiction, with a closing reception on Tuesday, December 13, at 6PM. All are welcome.

%d bloggers like this: