[3/12/1946 – 8/3/2021]
Bill Wertz was a friend and fellow photographer I met in the early 70s when he did staff and freelance photography for surfing magazines and other publications, repaired cameras and built race car bodies. We worked and traveled together for several years until he moved to Paris where he worked in glass sculpture, something he had just undertaken a year or two earlier in Long Beach. While in France, he was commissioned to build a glass dome for the palace of a head of state in Oman, among other work. When he returned to the States, he continued with smaller-scale glassworks, particularly replicas of musical instruments. His commissions included a glass life-size guitar for the Jimi Hendrix estate, and sculptural works for Apple Computer. Bill returned to photography later, and taught at the university and college level until his retirement. During recent years, he has collected and restored antique still and movie cameras, watches and clocks, and creates digital “paintings” on his iPad. Although we live at a distance of hundreds of miles now (February 2019), we regularly exchange email and phone calls. Here are a few of the photos I made of Bill as an informal part of my interactions with him and our other photographer “rat-pack” friends:
Also see THE GREAT TUNAFISH EXPEDITION
Also see this wonderful portrait of Bill from 2004, made by a photographer unknown (is it a self-portrait by Bill himself?).
From my log of January 4, 2018:
I wasn’t there. I didn’t take the photograph. But my old photo partner, Bill, just today found this previously lost image of himself, unseen for many years, so I thought I would pass it along just to change things up a bit. Bill went on to climb to the peak, with view camera in tow, and then made a commercially successful poster of Machu Picchu.
From my log of July 11, 2018:
Bill, my old photography-partner/recluse-artist, sends along evidence of his safety and kitchen’s intact condition, reporting that a 4am earthquake only resulted in the scattering of his collection of Folger coffee cans.
Also see this post of 5/29/2019.
And here is a grab of Bill’s old website, back in 2004:
From Bill’s Early Life
Bill identifies himself on the far right of this photograph taken many, many years ago by person or persons unknown. The photo depicts Bill and kids he grew up with on a street somewhere in southern California even then revealing Bill as someone who stood outside the group: