I first met John Holt in the mid-1980s when my wife and business partner, Selene Carlo-Eymer was working for Bose Corporation. The occasion was a photo shoot for some new home speakers that were once again, aspiring to turn living rooms into concert halls. As I remember, we were at someone's house working in a staged living room complete with beautifully styled shrimp (held together by large and dangerous needles) and bowls of plump fruit. Recruited as a (free) model along with other Bose employees and significant others, it was my job to look as though I was enjoying the music while simultaneously blending in.
During this time, John was just another living room speaker photographer.
Oh, he also shot shoes.
He shot lots of them.
Pair after pair.
Oh, and he occasionally shot socks!
Lots and lots of socks.
At the dawn of the New Millennium, Selene and I managed the world headquarters of Eymer Design, just a couple of doors down from John and company. Both businesses were located in the South Boston's Marine Industrial Park along with a handful of other creativity-based companies. The ceilings were high, the massive windows let in plenty of light, and the rent was cheap.
That is when we began to recognize the fact that John was morphing, and so was his studio! As more and more hi-tech equipment rolled in, his workspace quickly became more Bat Cave than a warehouse.
The images that he was creating were no longer yuppies mingling on couches listening to Manilow. John's photographs now included elephants in high heels, prissy dogs pulling sleds, gigantic newspapers lying next to a startled Dalmatian and bloated fish (no longer capable of circling their cramped fish bowl).
The most bizarre part of this? People were paying him to create this stuff! I am not a big fantasy guy, but in my mind, Mr. Holt was demonstrating wizardly tendencies. His work was magic. His images were Norman Rockwell on steroids. Many a visitor would shuffle by his studio's massive doors wondering what was causing the strange noise and questionable odors.
"What is going on in there?"
Then Al Gore invented the Internet; corporate real estate mucky-mucks discovered our South Boston hideaway and companies began to shrink due to the creaking economy. Nearly everyone scattered. We soon left and moved our business to Cohasset, 20 miles south of Boston.
Fast forward. Stop!
Now over thirty-five years after beginning his image creation quest, John Holt has re-morphed for the seventeenth or eighteenth time.
We haven't seen him lately, but we know that he has a business presence in a company called DOCK25 (named after our former location at 25 Drydock Avenue) located in a city north of Boston.
John also has a new website that you need to check out. Just click here before he morphs again. – cheers, Doug.