It was a moment that almost slipped by, unnoticed by all but one eyewitness.
With the click of his camera shutter — a twin lens reflex Rolleiflex being his tool of choice at the time — an 18-year-old Jerry Muller caught the image of two well-dressed men gazing after a young woman as she walked down a New York sidewalk in 1951.
"Those two guys looking at this girl — that's the decisive moment," said Muller, 77, of Costa Mesa, citing a style of photography coined byHenri Cartier-Bresson, while studying the 24-by-25-inch black-and-white image.
"What makes all famous photos is the decisive moment," Muller continued. "Those are the ones that live on."
The image, aptly dubbed "Times Square" after the location of that gone-in-a-flash-moment, is one of Muller's most iconic photos in a portfolio that spans five decades.
Select works from that portfolio are on display through the end of the month at Anne's Boutique Wines on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa. An artist reception with Muller will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the shop, with a wine tasting to follow.
"His work is so professional and so clean," store owner Anne Nutten said. "You come in and immediately you see how it stands out on the walls. It complements the whole shop."
Nutten, a former artist of blown-glass vases, opens the walls of her 1,800-square-foot wine store to a new local artist each month.
The result being a mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationship, she said.
"Jerry has friends who will come to the opening that may enjoy wine, but may have never heard of us," Nutten said. "And our clients, who have an interest in art, will be exposed to Jerry's photos."
"I also just like having all the art around," Nutten added with a laugh.
Nutten purchased the wine store, which was formerly part of the Wine Styles franchise, about three years ago.
Since then, she has poured her creative energy and passion for wine into turning the store around.
She added more inventory — the store sells about 250 different wines — and focused on building relationships within the community.
Events, such as wine tastings, are held throughout the month in the shop's tasting room.
While Nutten doesn't create blown-glass vases anymore, running the boutique wine shop is another form of satisfaction, she said.
"Art is a three-dimensional form," Nutten said. "I consider this shop a piece of art work. I try to pull it together the way I would a piece of art."
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