Jon Naar, Photographer, Engaged Citizen

I had the great pleasure of interviewing 92 year old photographer Jon Naar for Engaging People, in fact, he was also a narrator for the video highlighted in the previous post about the Trenton, NJ Gandhi Garden. My interview with Jon was held a few weeks ago on Martin Luther King's birthday, and although he was a bit under the weather, I was amazed at his enormous energy level and zeal for life, culture, politics, citizenship and  the environment. For me, Jon Naar is the quintessential engaged citizen, actively involved in his community working with others to solve problems.

But Jon's day job as a photography also documents the "...zeitgeist, (the spirit of the time and place)..." and he's done his fare share of that throughout the world and in his home town. The next few months are exciting for Jon as the New Jersey State Museum has curated a five decade retrospective of his work that can be seen until May 5, 2013. Before becoming a professional photographer at age 44, Naar was a British Secret Service agent in the Middle East during WWII and an international marketing executive. But in the early 1960s he met photographer André Kertész who encouraged him to follow his youthful passion and become a photographer. He went on to work with Andy Warhol, Norman Mailer, Christo, fashion designer Betsey Johnson and Joseph Albers to name a few.  Learn more about Jon in a piece produced by and broadcast on State of the Arts, and watch for his participation in the Engaging People web series.