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Speaking of Secrets – Interview with Leonard Nimoy


Post By Corey Armpriester

Secrets – we hide them, we share them, and Leonard Nimoy photographs them. His new photographic series titled “Secret Selves” explores the concepts of the lost, hidden or fantasy self; he’s documenting each sitter’s attempt to search for the other part of themselves that were forcefully separated by a cruel sword in the hands of Zeus.

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Valdorise — Toy Company Employee. 
I’ve always called myself the secret whore; a character based on what I’d do if I could. Leonard Nimoy
Secret Selves

The mythological inspiration behind the series strips the work of its cutesy quality revealing the depth of human desire to fill the void that only our other half can fill. This brings up questions that surround god and freedom. Are we a god-centric people because we lack the power that comes from being whole, a crippled species using god as a vice because of our manufactured dependence? Leonard Nimoy captures the hopes of lightly broken people that have smiles on their faces while trying to piece themselves together by using transformative fantasy to help manifest what they will become in the future, should have been from the start, or never will be again.

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Matt — Painter of Americans who have witnessed war. 
I would aspire to be a force of nature, a simple and pure avatar of the Earth. Leonard Nimoy
Secret Selves

Leonard Nimoy is exhibiting this series in the summer/fall of 2010 at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA). The artist reception for this show will be in July on Saturday 31, 2010 4pm-6pm and his book signing and reception for “Secret Selves” will be at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton MA. July 29, 2010 4pm-6pm.  See other Secret Selves photos.

[Ed note: This interview was conducted via email.]

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David — Rabbi. 
At synagogue I normally wear a suit and tie but I try to 
remember that somehow underneath I am wearing leather. Leonard Nimoy
Secret Selves

Corey Armpriester -You picked up the camera at age fourteen, Why did light take a hold on you at that time?
Leonard Nimoy – Magic. Expose the film to light and process it in the dark. Capture an image and make a product. Hold it in your hand. Hang it on the wall. Give it as a gift.

CA -You had you’re first photographic exhibition in 1973, what did you reveal about yourself in that show?
LN -I was searching. Exploring. Experimenting. Looking for a visual identity.

CA – Are secrets a thing of the past?
LN -No. Constant and present.

CA -Is madness essential for focused creative expression?
LN -If fiercely concentrated right brain activity is madness then, yes.

CA -Will the hologram cause the death of the photograph?
LN -Never,never.

CA -Who are some of the artists in you’re art collection?
LN -Eric Fischl, Louise Bourgeois, Harry Callahan. Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys, Mike Kelly, John Baldessari, Liza Lou…

CA -How will The Nimoy Foundation continue on without you?
LN -A highly motivated board of directors and a junior board

CA -Is art a cult within culture? Is it a type of mind control?
LN -Is mind expansion mind control?

CA -How much does the Kabala inform your visual art?
LN – My “Shekhina” project, totally.

CA -Why did you dedicate a series of photographs to the common egg?
LN – White, shape, exquisite shadows.

CA-When was the last time you cried?
LN- Four days ago.

CA -Does the still photograph have more of an emotional impact than the moving picture?
LN -It stands still

CA -Have you ever had a conversation about art with President Obama?
LN -Is Star Trek “art” ?

–Corey Armpriester is a Philadelphia artist. He can be contacted directly at