There’s a serene stillness that permeates Lenny’s work which is not surprising given that he views his photography as part of his spiritual practice; co-creating with creation.
His commitment to peaceful co-existence with all sentient beings and sunflowers too for that matter, is evident in the photographs Lenny takes and shows at his gallery, Living Light – they are imbued with a love of life, a joyful expression of Nature and all of its gifts of beauty.
Mystery too resides in these images Lenny makes, sometimes superimposing one image onto another, creating interesting juxtapositions and added dimension to already powerful portraits or places he’s photographed
As a child, growing up in the D.C. area, Lenny would tear pictures of the South West from his mother’s magazines and put them on his bedroom walls.
He was struck by the way the images impacted him emotionally but didn’t really understand the depth of it, until coming here in the early 90’s.
Lenny, like many of his generation partied through most of his teens and twenties, working as a car dealer, spending his weekends getting drunk and stoned until one day in 1986, he hit bottom.
After a few years of sobriety in 1991, a friend suggested he buy a camera he had seen in a pawn shop and spend days off taking photographs instead of spending money on drugs and alcohol.
He did and began visiting D.C.’s great museums looking at art.
One day, while viewing a Monet exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art, his first sighting of the water lilies cracked him open.
“I went outside and sat on a bench and cried.”
Clearly Lenny approaches photography with a painter’s eye and poet’s soul.
After visiting Taos in 93 with a friend who was looking for property, he returned to the East Coast and soon headed back with all of his belongings in a truck and $600.00 to his name. The magazine pictures from his childhood came into sharp focus through his lens and he was hooked.
It wasn’t long before he’d established himself here and visiting Lenny’s gallery filled with his wonderful photography, much of it taken here in Taos, it’s hard to imagine him anywhere else.
World renowned for his Healing Hands series (and books) of photographs he has taken over the years that began with a trip to Senegal during the 90’s African hands, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Native American hands, some holding prayer books or rosaries and beads, some cupping cowrie shells, others palms up and open in a gesture of humility and love.
He once told me how ironic he thought that was. That the African work had sustained him for so many years, here in Taos. There’s much more to Lenny’s artistic oeuvre, though the brilliant colour and composition render his African photos timeless. He captured the vibe of the Continent with sensitivity and inner awareness, as he does here, in the High Desert, fulfilling his childhood dreams.
To see Lenny Foster’s work and discover more about the artist, please visit his site linked below.
Photographs by Bill Curry