Books


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© Susan A. Barnett

Watching New Yorker Susan A. Barnett build her series "Not In Your Face" into a fantastic collection over the last couple years has been a pleasure, and now her dedication to capturing T shirt messages has resulted in a really great book, from Dewi Lewis.

"With over 200 images of t-shirt 'messages', "T: A Typology of T-shirts" looks at those individuals who stand out in a crowd through their choice of the message on their back." Here are but a handful, from a request I made to Susan for more "sassy, edgy" messages. Susan's off to continue shooting abroad so stand by for some messages from other cultures.

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All images © Susan A. Barnett
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From Project Lives, published by powerHouse Books, image © Margarita Colon 

The photographs making up the new powerHouse book Project Lives were created by residents of New York's housing projects. They learned about photography in an intensive 12 week course, and set out to document their lives. "This is photography from the inside out." The new photographers featured include Marcy Morales, 72, living in public housing for 30+ years who says "It's not where you are being raised, it's how you raise your kids, right?"; and Jared Wellington, 12, who says "I try to find myself in the photos... My mom used to live here when she was younger, and played on the same basketball courts I play on now." The newly discovered artists were given single-use film cameras and set free to record their own experiences of living in the city's seemingly never-improving housing. 

The program was instigated by photographers and educators George Carrano, Chelsea Davis, and Jonathan Fisher. The book includes some wonderful full page photos, commentary, and a ton of NYCHA facts (like the 422,639 backlogged repair requests.) Read more and buy a copy over at powerHouse.

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© Jared Wellington

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© Elodie Jean-Baptiste

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© Aaliyah Colon

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© Alina Navarro

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© Sheik Bacchus

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© Margaret Wells
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From Kill City, images by Ash Thayer, published by Powerhouse Books

I had moved to New York by the early 90s, when Mayor Guiliani finally decided to evict the squatters, who were mainly living down on the lower east side of Manhattan. It was big news at the time. My parents don't read my blog so I can confess that I spent a fair amount of time in squats in London in the mid-80s. I don't know how else I would ever have learned to cook lentils or stomach hash. Ash Thayer moved to a squat in 1992, and began documenting "New York's legendary LES squatters." As Luc Sante writes: "Anyone wondering about the end of bohemia can consult this book, which documents its last incarnation, at least in New York City. Few bohemians can ever have worked as hard as the squatters, who earned their homes and their lives; they were rewarded with forcible and violent eviction. Ash Thayer's remarkable pictures chronicle a time, only two decades ago, that seems impossibly distant now." (b-t-w Sante's book, Low Life, about the seedy history of NYC is a great read.)

This is a fabulous photography book; large, and packed with double-page spreads, it includes stories of learning how to build and repair, plant gardens, stay warm, and how some of these kids came to be squatting in the first place.

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The press release is as usual a great read so here it is in its entirety:

After being kicked out of her apartment in Brooklyn in 1992, and unable to afford rent anywhere near her school, young art student Ash Thayer found herself with few options. Luckily she was welcomed as a guest into See Skwat.

New York City in the '90s saw the streets of the Lower East Side overun with derelict buildings, junkies huddled in dark corners, and dealers packing guns. People in desperate need of housing, worn down from waiting for years in line on the low-income housing lists, had been moving in and fixing up city-abandoned buildings since the mid-80s in the LES.

Squatters took over entire buildings, but these structures were barely habitable. They were overrun with vermin, lacking plumbing, electricity, and even walls, floors, and a roof. Punks and outcasts joined the squatter movement and tackled an epic rebuilding project to create homes for themselves.

The squatters were forced to be secretive and exclusive as a result of their poor legal standing in the buildings. Few outsiders were welcome and fewer photographers or journalists. Thayer's camera accompanied her everywhere as she lived at the squats and worked alongside other residents. Ash observed them training each other in these necessary crafts and finding much of their materials in the overflowing bounty that is New York City's refuse and trash. The trust earned from her subjects was unique and her access intimate. Kill City is a true untold story of New York's legendary LES squatters. - Luc Sante

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All images by Ash Thayer, from Kill City, out now from Powerhouse Books

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Jay Uhler © Francesco Mastalia 
From "Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley" by Francesco Mastalia, published by powerHouse Books.

For this two-year portrait project, Francesco Mastalia photographed over 100 farmers and chefs located around New York State's Hudson Valley, a region known for its organic and farm-to-table principles. Mastalia decided to use the wet-plate collodion process, producing these appropriately earthy images. The amber toned photos are collected into Mastalia's new book, which is out now from powerHouse

""Organic" is one of the most misunderstood and often misused words describing food today. In narrating their own stories, the farmers and chefs share their philosophy about what it means to grow and live organically and sustainably. "Organic" is not just about growing and producing food, it is about the life of the planet. It is about preserving an agricultural tradition that will safeguard farmland for future generations."

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Jody Bolluyt

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Jeff Bialas

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Eugene Wyatt

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Hanna Bail

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Guy Jones

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After clocking up some thousands of kilometers, Dan Eckstein has completed his lovely project about long distance truck drivers on India's vast motorways, full of colourful characters and customized vehicles. I'm pleased to report that the book of the series launched this week - "Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India" is out now via PowerHouse Books

""Horn Please" could be considered the mantra of the Indian highway, and some version of the phrase is written on the back of practically every truck on the road in India today." 
 
Learn more on the Horn Please website.

See the previous post about this project, from 2012, here in the aCurator blog.

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Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India by Dan Eckstein, published by powerHouse Books. 
All images © Dan Eckstein
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A new book from the archives of the one and only Jim Marshall, made posthumously, but as he had outlined in a notebook that was found after his death. I count myself damn lucky to have shared a glass of wine or three with Mr Marshall a few years ago, thanks to my mentor and pal, another one and only, Jim's close buddy and peer, Baron Wolman.
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"Woodstock showed the world how things could have been, and for this reason it's important that we never forget this experience, this place, this time, this dream that came true, if only for three days..."

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The road to Woodstock © Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman was Rolling Stone magazine's first photographer, working with stars such as Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and all the greats of the day. Living in the Haight in its heyday, he photographed some of the musicians in his home studio. In 1969 he was on the road photographing music festivals around the USA on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine when word started to trickle through about a major musical event happening in upstate New York. Joining the long traffic jams, Wolman made it to Woodstock, along with, ultimately, hundreds of thousands of other people.

His latest book, Woodstock, (Reel Art Press) is filled with Wolman's photos of the atmosphere and events occurring around and beside the live bands at this, the most famous music festival of all time.

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Revisiting his contact sheets for the first time in years, he was pleasantly surprised to find he had enough material to complete a book dedicated this time not to the musicians but to the crowds.

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"Woodstock" is beautifully printed, with rich blacks and lush gold tone. It includes a foreword by Carlos Santana and features an extensive Q&A with Baron Wolman and Woodstock creator, Michael Lang.  

There's a great bookstore edition but it also comes as a limited edition that includes a print of these chilling cows, and an actual, rare, original Woodstock admission ticket.


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In the blurb for the book, Baron says "The thing to remember about the 1960s, even near the end in '69 was that everything was totally different, the behavior was new and unexpected. Plus, the 1960s were simply wildly photogenic in every way imaginable. The changes that were taking place in the heads of the people were visually manifested. I mean, how could you not take pictures?" 

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"No one could have predicted the enduring influence of the Woodstock experience. Yes, the bands were first rate and there were many of them. And the setting... was picture perfect and tranquil, a bucolic setting for relaxing with friends and listening to music and getting high. But in unexpected ways, Woodstock became more than a concert for all of us. I ended up spending most of my time out in the wild with the crowd because what was happening 'out there' was just too interesting not to explore."

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All images © Baron Wolman
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Easthope Stained Glass Studio, Folkestone, Kent © Tim Allen

Wonderful well-rounded project from British photographer Tim Allen, that not only beautifully documents true artisans in five practices, but raises money for charity. The series were all made around England's south east county of Kent. Here's Tim's story: 

"In 2013 I photographed local fairgrounds and I had the idea to have a small book made of it which I then sold to raise money for charity. I chose the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society as I'm a sufferer of the condition who is lucky enough to be responding brilliantly to treatment and wanted to give something back. After raising £450 for NASS I decided to work on another book this year, but this time the subject matter would be broader. 

I've always appreciated good craftsmanship and after spending an afternoon doing research I found lots of interesting potential candidates for my project. 6 months later I had 5 shoots completed and produced the book, "Artisans," which is now on sale. I've also decided to continue the project and have several other shoots lined up already, hopefully for my third book next year."

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Easthope Stained Glass Studio

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Cleverley & Spencer Stonemasons, Dover

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Alan Staley Boat Restorers, Faversham

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Michael Hart, Blacksmith, Horsmonden

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Malcolm Tysoe Violin Specialists, Farnborough. All images © Tim Allen

Tim has a few other great projects online - check them out. He talks about the project with Tom McLaughlan over at Ministract. And if you love these photos, make a donation and get a copy of the book

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Books, Photographers | Permalink |


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© Nancy Baron

Coming next month from Kehrer is a cracking-looking book of photographs by Nancy Baron made in and around Palm Springs, a desert resort city about 100 miles east of Los Angeles in California.

"For most people, Palm Springs evokes images of a resort town of exquisite homes, glittering swimming pools, lush palm trees, and stunning golf courses where the rich and famous go to relax and retire. For others, Palm Springs signifies a town that has faded with time along with the passing of a long procession of A-list celebrities that flocked there during the mid 20th century from Hollywood elite like Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Bob Hope, to Presidents from Eisenhower to Ford to Reagan."

According to Wikipedia, Palm Springs has one of the highest concentration of same-sex couples of any community in the United States. Aren't any of them working as interior designers?

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There will be a solo show at the dnj Gallery in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station from September 6 - November 1, 2014, with an opening reception and book signing September 6, 6-8pm. 

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All images © Nancy Baron
Books, Exhibitions | Permalink |


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© Linda Troeller

After a few dedicated years of hard work and travel, the one and only Linda Troeller has published "Orgasm." The book contains photos and interviews with women on sex, sexuality and orgasm. It is, naturally, coming soon. 

Daylight Books will unveil it at Photoville in Brooklyn Bridge Park, September 20th, 2014, and the book will be given release in early November. Hands above the table and no sharing - get your own copy here.

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