Tribute Held For Late Photographer Steve Starr

Friends help fulfill vision of event Starr was working on when he died

By Marcus Riley
|  Monday, Dec 17, 2012  |  Updated 10:33 AM CDT
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In Focus: Photographer Steve Starr

Victor Skrebneski

Chicago photographer Victor Skrebneski took these studio photos of Steve Starr days before he died.

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In Focus: Photographer Steve Starr

A closer look at the unique methodology of local freelance event photographer Steve Starr.
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Late Chicago photographer Steve Starr's vision came to life in a glorious way Wednesday night.

Starr died last month of a sudden heart attack at the age of 65, but the last project he was planning was a 12-12-12 event to showcase his "Faces in the News" photographs.

The affair at The Murphy quickly shifted into a tribute to Starr's unique spirit.

The sad thing is, it's almost as if he knew he wasn't going to be here, because he spent so much time saying, 'This is how I want it to happen. This is the timing. This is the look,' so we just kind of facilitated that which he put in motion," said Starr's friend, fashion photographer Mark Roscoe.

Hundreds of friends and Starr's family, including sisters and nieces, were on hand for the celebration, which included fashion shows and musical performances.

"He was a perfectionist, and it turns out that his friends made it perfect," Starr's older sister, Bobbi Weiss said. "He would have loved it if he were here."

And even though the party stayed upbeat, there was an overwhelming feeling that something -- or someone, was missing.

"Even though this is a celebration, it's a bittersweet celebration because he should be here to see it, and that's more than a little upsetting to me," event emcee Candace Jordan said. "We'll all try to be happy and smiley, but we've lost someone that we loved to pieces."

Along with his photography work that appeared in virtually every Chicago publication over the years, Starr was a designer, collector, artist and a foremost expert on the Art Deco era.

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