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MugFiles:Faces of the Famous, the Infamous and the Not-so Famous

Oakland, CA Jan. 3, 2022 –
With a visual arts career that spans four decades, numerous roles, all the Great Themes,
and several states, it’s been the loss of so many ‘lights’ from COVID that has created the impetus
for photographic artist Carl ‘Djinn’ Lewis in 2022. Late in 2021 he began producing select
images from his unearthed ‘MugFiles’ facet, the frst of which is author, cinematographer,
photographer and mentor, Gordon Parks.
“It was the early/mid ’80s when I frst met Gordon (Parks). I was commuting from Hartford
(where my studio was) to The City building my portfolio. I think it was Danny Dawson of Kamoinge
who gave me the contact to him along with the numbers for Dr. Van Der Zee and Roy de Carava.”, says
Mr. Lewis. “Over the course of the next three plus decades or so Gordon and I became quite close. He
was the Grandad I never had. It was on one of my ‘downstate’ trips I got the chance to sit with Gordon
and review the images for his book, ‘Arias in Silence’.”
Mr. Lewis’ facet, ‘MugFiles:Faces of the Famous, the Infamous and the Not-so Famous’,
is home to his candid, ‘fy on the wall’, people images. Over the course of the last forty years
he’s had the opportunity to capture slices of life in front or behind the curtains of an
encyclopedia of personalities and notables from all disciplines, politics to the social activism of
‘pot’. Among the faces are the likes of Venice Bienniale Awardee Robert Colescott,
photographers Mary Ellen Marks and Duane Michals, musician and music critic Greg Tate,
painter Robert Rauschenberg, David Clancy and some of the ‘Heroes of Hemp, ‘Rock and
Roller’ Dorian Mingus, the Potrero Hill and Mission Legends of Latin Rock, Jazz pianist Freddie
Redd, trombonist Slide Hampton, the Wailers, and a whole parade of others.
Known for capturing live in-concert laser imagery the majority of Carl’s people photos
have been buried in his archives and never exhibited as a cohesive body of work. The drive for
these photos to see the overarching light of ‘overlooked history’ is threefold, his participation in
New Media company, Lenape Creative Group, the impact of COVID-19, and connecting with
SF’s premiere lab, Dickerman Prints.
Mr. Lewis work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Art
Houston, Amon Carter Museum, and Brooklyn Museum, and referenced in Deborah Willis’
‘ R efections in Black’. A taste of his oeuvre can be viewed at with a few of
the latest creations on his Royal Photographic Society page. 2022 will see a host of fresh imagery
being produced by Mr. Lewis as he, in collaboration with Lenape Creative Group, dives into the
world of NFTs and immersive art, don’t blink ’cause if you’re waiting on him, you’re backing

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