Comegys: Five Decades of Photography
For nearly 50 years News Journal photographer Fred Comegys has reflected local life through distinctive images. Take a peek at Delaware Art Museum's exhibition of his work.
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Fred Comegys has been called a state treasure, and at least one fan described him as Delaware’s Picasso. News Journal readers would agree that Comegys has consistently and artfully reflected life in the First State for nearly 50 years, and a shot by Comegys is as recognizable to us as the Rockford Tower or Joe Biden. Tell this to the man himself and he will smile and say, “I’m just a newspaper photographer. That’s what I do.” The Delaware Art Museum is celebrating Comegys’ career with a retrospective exhibition that runs from February 12 through May 1. Herein, a sampling of Comegys’ work, with his commentary.
“This was 1986. It was 18 floors up in Wilmington. They were just taking a break on the edge out there. There’s the old News Journal building and a parking garage. That was another scary situation. Those guys walked right on top of the beams. I put my feet on the inside things and I would just kind of hold the girder and monkey-walk to wherever they were. I would never stand up and walk like they did. That’s really stupid and dangerous. It just gives people the willies when you’re up that high...but it’s kind of fun.”
“I spent most of a day at Muhammad Ali’s training camp. There were a lot of photographers around. I said, ‘Is there any way I could get your photo in your cabin before you go to bed or do whatever you’re doing?’ He let me in. I was amazed. Of course, by then he had had enough. People were around him all day, wanting him to hold their babies and sign autographs. He could have really shooed me out of there because I was nobody to him. It was pretty awesome.”
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