Conversation with Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes (Encore Episode): The B&H Photography Podcast03/17/2022
This is an encore presentation of an episode first published in November 2018. When we finished recording this episode, Jay Maisel asked us which podcast episode was our favorite. It didn’t take Allan a second to answer, “This one!” While we now have recorded more than three hundred, there is no doubt that this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast is very memorable. Once we turned the mics on, nobody wanted this conversation to end and, indeed, it runs longer than 80 minutes, but it is worth every minute. When listening to Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes talk, time doesn’t fly—it soars.
The reason we have two such remarkable photographers and long-time associates on together is because Wilkes made a documentary about Maisel, called Jay Myself and, with Maisel and Wilkes, we discuss the making of the film and their personal and professional relationship that has existed for 40 years.
At the heart of the film is Maisel’s former residence and studio, the six-story, 30,000 square-foot Germania Bank building that he bought, in 1967, and sold, in 2014, for a tidy profit. This massive space, almost as legendary as Maisel himself, must be emptied before Maisel is to move, and Wilkes was there to capture this undertaking. The movie touches upon themes of mentorship, mortality, visual creativity, and the changing face of New York City, but along with the remarkable space he created, the film focuses on the life, work, and legacy of Maisel himself. It is a loving tribute from one photographer to another, one friend to another.
Our conversation is filled with the type of creative insight and humor that these towering figures in contemporary photography can bring. Join us for this fascinating conversation.
Guests: Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes
Above photograph © John Harris
Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner