In August, 2009, in conjunction with an exhibit of photographs taken during his ownership of the Coolidge Corner Theater, the Boston Globe’s Mark Feeney wrote “There was a 25-year period when Justin Freed dominated sophisticated filmgoing in and around Boston.”
Before his career as an innovative film programmer Freed had been a devoted photographer.
Beginning in his teens, influenced by the images in periodicals such as Life Magazine and by abstract art, he photographed on subway trains, open air markets, back yards, schools, at the seashore and in the woods.
All his life he has been obsessed with trees and water, those essentials components of life.
A key moment occurred when he saw a short film about the work of French photographer Eugene Atget, who became a life long influence.
Others were Edward Weston, Wynn Bullock and Eliot Porter. Other sources of inspiration are painting, realistic and abstract, and Jewish mysticism.
His visual education continued during his career as a film programmer.
He established a unique series on the American Underground Cinema.
Here he discovered exemplars of what he calls “ecstatic nature,” filmmakers such as Ed Emshwiller and Stan Brakhage. Their work also became templates.
His photographic credits include work for printed media such as Sight & Sound and the Boston Globe as well as jazz albums and cd’s for pianist Ran Blake.
In 2011 his video documentary on painter Jen Bradley played in the Provincetown International Film Festival.
In November, 2014, with painter Claudine Bing, he created a multi-media exhibition called “Rhythms of the Universe” at the Galatea Gallery in Boston.
In this collaboration, the two artists contrasted and aligned their wonder at the cosmos and their love of the earth.
His photographic and video work includes many genres and styles.
He will be adding examples of this to this website.
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