For internationally-known photojournalist Doug Menuez, who has worked on assignment for newspapers, magazines and businesses in places including the North Pole and the Amazon, the years he spent photographing Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and other movers and shakers in Silicon Valley from the mid 1980s through 2000 were life-changing.
Patina Gallery has created the exhibit “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley,” a show of a select group of Menuez’s Silicon Valley photos with insightful captions, to complement the Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere of “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.”
The photos in the show represent 15 years of work that led Menuez to publish the book “Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley, 1985-2000” in 2014. The exhibit opens on July 14 and runs through August 13.
“It was electrifying to be around him,” says Menuez about Jobs, who allowed him unlimited access to meetings and events that took place at all hours of day and night. “I’ve covered politicians during my career, but Jobs and the people around him had the power. They changed our culture. It was a romantic time. Dreams were huge and focused on helping the human race. I was very skeptical, but I was really rooting for them.”
Menuez would walk the hallways of Silicon Valley offices for hours on end to take photos. If insiders tipped him off to an important meeting taking place at 3 a.m., Menuez was there with camera in hand.
Most of the photos in the exhibit are of Jobs from the mid to late 1980s. “He was a complicated person with many layers to him,” adds Menuez. “He could be kind and thoughtful. On the other hand, the pressure in Silicon Valley could be so great at times that people shot themselves and marriages ended.”
Menuez took a total of 250,000 photos of a wide range of projects during his Silicon Valley years. The photos are archived in the Douglas Menuez Photography Collection at the Stanford University Library.