When a Man Loves a Woman, He Takes Pictures. Paul Black Has Taken Thousands of His Beloved ‘Carol’

In 1970, Paul Black was a graduate student at Penn State University, weeks away from finishing his thesis for a master's in painting. He was basing his thesis on more than a dozen lavish paintings, on which he had worked laboriously. And then came the fire. Late one night, the graduate painting studio at Penn State burned to the ground, destroying all of Paul's work. In the flash of a moment of fate, he got a new idea, born of urgency and desperation. He did not have time to paint paintings in the short time before his thesis was due, so what could he do?Overnight, he became a photographer. He would take pictures of his wife, the former Carol Anderson, to whom he was married in 1966 after meeting her at the Kansas City Art Institute. Carol grew up on Meadowood Road in Dallas and graduated from The Hockaday School. "It was out of necessity," Paul says. "I had to produce something to graduate." A stunningly beautiful subject, she became his muse and the savior of his thesis, which relied on black and white slides, every one of which was of Carol. And now, you can see them. Nearly half a century later, Carol is the inspiration for an art exhibition, titled simply "Carol." It opens June 1 at the Barry Whistler Gallery and runs through July 27.Carol Black is, of course, a living, breathing human being, who as the focal point of a buzzy new art exhibition in the Dallas Design District is feeling a wee bit self-conscious."Well, that's one of the problems," she says with a wry laugh. "I'm not beautiful anymore. I'm 72! Come on."With the show's opening fast approaching, she's feeling a swirl of emotions. On the one hand, "It's really lovely. Paul has been an artist since the day we met. He's taken pictures all his life."And, of course, "I guess I was the person who was there when he got out the camera. But it is ... "She searches for just the right word."Confronting."  Continue reading...

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