Jay Colton (1953-2010) PDF
Written by Fernando Castro   

Haiku for Jay

across your smile
forever flow together
those two waterfalls

Teresa Bordona

(Inspired by Jay’s photo
“Cachoeira fumaca” 2007.)


Jay Colton


Jay Colton (1953-2010) and I were friends since I was fifteen years old. We both attended the same high school in New York. It was at his parents’ house that I received my first photographic education. There I first saw fine photography books by Eikoh Hosoe, Eugene Smith, Yousuf Karsh, etc. –many of them dedicated by the authors to Jay’s father, William "Sandy" Colton, photo-editor for Associated Press. On the walls of their Parkway Village home there were Pulitzer Prize winning photographs like Joe Rosenthal’s marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Jay’s mother, Sanae Yamazaki, was the first woman art director at Time Inc. In 1968 when she visited her family in Japan, she brought me back my first serious photographic camera: an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic. Jay’s first successful career was as a chef. A Cue magazine culinary critic once called him “the Magician” –for he seamlessly combined the flavors of French and Japanese cuisines. It was only later that he became a photo-editor, eventually finishing that career at Time Magazine. As photo-editor, Jay won numerous awards, but as well-deserved as all of those accolades are, they speak little of the great adventure that we both shared. In addition to photography, together we discovered the poetry of Octavio Paz, Javier Heraud, and ee cummings; the prose of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Yasunari Kawabata and Gabriel García Márquez; the music of Jefferson Airplane, Baden Powell, J.S. Bach, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis; the films of Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa; and of course, the great paintings at MoMA –by Claude Monet, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, and above all, Pablo Picasso. Although during some periods of our lives we got separated, our friendship never dwindled. Jay went to the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival and I didn’t; he went to live in L.A., I went to Peru; I came to live in Houston, he stayed in New York.


Fernando Castro R.

I urge you to visit: www.jaycolton.com


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