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Jimmy De Sana

Jimmy was a quiet, elusive character who never signed his name the same way twice and claimed to have been born in 1949, 1950, and 1951. James, Jimmy, Jim De Sana, De Sana intimidated many people with his dark, quiet presence. But once he was your friend he was loyal and loving, a chatty southern gentleman. Although he wished to constantly reinvent himself, his work was always on a steady course, from the sex pictures he started taking in the late 1960s to the portraits of Debbie Harry, Billy Idol, and Talking Heads-which set the style for the way the punk music scene was photographed-to his ongoing study of the eccentricities and perversions of "normal" American suburban life. I'll remember him always for our yearly outings to Coney Island and for teaching me how to have a camera in my life.

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