David Lee Guss

 
 
 

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David Lee Guss

David Lee Guss

Casa Grande, AZ

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I first became obsessed with photography and motion pictures while growing up in post WW2 Manila in the Philippine Islands in the late 1940's/early 1950's. Film noirs were a particular influence.

But my first love remains the theater. I acted in numerous amateur productions from 1958 to 1978. In 1979 I earned a MA in drama from the University of Arizona; earlier getting a BA in English from the University of Minnesota, where I co-founded the first film society on campus and ran it for four years. While at the U of A, I studied with the master black and white photo essayist W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) the last year of his life. I am the last person cited in Jim Hughes' definitive biography of Gene, as I wrote about attending his final class days before his death.

I still consider myself an amateur photographer as almost all my work displayed here has been self assignments. After graduating from an announcing school in Minneapolis in 1964 I began employment as a news anchorman/booth announcer/writer/still photographer, at the now defunct KXAB TV in Aberdeen, South Dakota, without having taken a journalism course or ever have taken a photograph. (I bluffed my way into the job.) Being essentially my own boss of a one man news team, I could repeatedly blunder and bury my numerous mistakes. There I began my thematic, photo essays as stories for broadcast in black and white slide form. I found photography much more rewarding than being a media celebrity.

After an abortive try at the Peace Corps I landed at KVOA TV in Tucson, Arizona in April 1967 as a news editor/cinematographer. I continued with the photo essays now shot on negative film, and printed/ rephotographed with 16mm film. My only on air appearances were when I did "stand-uppers" or interviews.

Since then I have spent decades as a teacher of arts related subjects (acting, film making/history, creative writing, art history, literature and photography, English, etc.) in various community colleges, universities and prison facilities in Arizona.

My images, with the captions and descriptions, speak for themselves. I am presently building a website (vanishingamericanwest.com) which will feature my photo essays and short films.

My photo essays are in numerous archives/museums in the US and Europe. I am the only living photographer who has his own archive at the University of Arizona Special Collections Library in Tucson.

My prize winning short films/videos have been screened at festivals in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan. Malta and Spain; and on many US cable systems.

Since 1994 I have lived in an adobe house in Casa Grande, Arizona.

 

The Big House collage Walker Evans photo Times Square New York 1930 color and frame added 2010 by David Lee Guss

 

Leon Trotsky Robert Capa damaged glass plate Copenhagen Denmark 1931 color and frames added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Twilight Andreas Feininger photo Hamburg Germany 1930 by David Lee Guss

 

Mahoney election poster defaced with Nazi symbols Tucson Arizona 1990 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Steve Twist election poster number one defaced with swastika Tucson Arizona 1990 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Steve Twist election poster number two defaced with swastika Tucson Arizona 1990 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Carl Panzram under the alias Jefferson Baldwin 1915 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Serial killer Peter Kurten Dusseldorf Germany 1931 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

M theatrical poster 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Hanna Maron and the shadow of Peter Lorre in M 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Proto Film Noir Peter Lorre Fritz Lang M 1931 Screen Capture Poster 2013 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre M number one 1931 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre M number 2 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre number 3 M 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre M number 4 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre M Number 5 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Fritz Lang directing M Peter Lorre on the left Berlin Germany 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Fritz Lang circa 1970 by David Lee Guss

 

Peter Lorre Mad Love publicity photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull 1935 by David Lee Guss

 

Edgar G. Ulmer circa 1934 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Erich von Stroheim Hello Sister Hal Phyfe photo 1933 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Walter Huston circa 1933 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Barbara Stanwyck diptych circa 1931 color and duplication added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

The Public Enemy theatrical poster 1931 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Jean Harlow and James Cagney The Public Enemy publicity photo 1931 frame and color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

James Cagney Public Enemy publicity photo 1931 frame added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Edward G. Robinson and George E. Stone Little Caesar 1931 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Hindenburg And Hitler Election Poster Berlin Germany Reichstag Building in background 1933 by David Lee Guss

 

The Reichstag fire February 27 1933 Berlin Color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Clark Gable on a MGM set circa 1932 vignette and color added 2009 by David Lee Guss

 

Clark Gable circa 1932 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Clark Gable in a tuxedo MGM publicity photo circa 1933 by David Lee Guss

 

Joan Crawford Sadie McKee publicity photo 1934 by David Lee Guss

 

Grand Hotel theatrical poster 1932 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Art Deco set designed by Cedric Gibbons Grand Hotel 1932 by David Lee Guss

 

Times Square Loews State is showing Flesh with Wallace Beery 1932 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Free Chevrolet drawing Whistling in the Dark Fox Tucson Theater 1933 color added 2008 by David Lee Guss

 

Rasputin and the Empress Fox Tucson Theater 1932 color and drawing added 2008 by David Lee Guss

 

Start of bicycle race at dusk Tugboat Annie Fox Tucson Theater 1933 by David Lee Guss

 

Arizona Daily Star fire next to the Fox Tucson Theater December 16 1933 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss

 

Two attendants provide full service Union Oil service station Los Angeles California circa 1931 by David Lee Guss

 

Adolf Hitler and Herman Goring Nazi rally Nuremberg Germany 1928 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Hindenburg and Hitler election poster Berlin Germany 1933 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Paul von Hindenburg 1914 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Chancellor Hitler greets President Paul von Hindenburg the opening of the new Reichstag in Potsdam by David Lee Guss

 

Nazis singing to encourage others to boycott Jewish shops Berlin 1933 color and frames added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

The first SS men 1925 color added 2016 by David Lee Guss

 

Hitler saluting to crowd after becoming Chancellor Berlin Germany 1933 color added 2015 by David Lee Guss