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The 65-Year-Old Virgin

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Bergman took a first peek out of his shell in the mid-eighties. Coaxed by friends, he tried showing his portfolio around. “MoMA said exactly what I thought they’d say: ‘This is moving and strong, but we’re interested in work that explores the medium formally,’” remembers Bergman. “It was very sad, because it meant more years of poverty and struggle.”

What does he make of all the current fuss? In his flinty way, he says that he wants to start doing something entirely different, working on a version of his life story and combining painting and photography. “I have some serious planning to do, because I’m old enough to think about how long I’ll be around,” he says. “I think I made some pretty damn good portraits—I don’t want to wake up at 75 only to have made another 50. So I’m not going to get in a car and drive around America for another ten years. If I were younger, I’d keep going.”


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