Doug Rickard's "A New American Picture" offers a startling and fresh perspective on American street photography. While at first glance the work looks reassuringly familiar and well within the traditional bounds of the genre, Rickard's methodology is anything but conventional. All of the images are appropriated from Google Street View; over a period of two years, Rickard took advantage of the technology platform's comprehensive image archive to virtually drive the unseen and overlooked roads of America--bleak places that are forgotten, economically devastated and abandoned. With an informed and careful eye, Rickard finds and decodes these previously photographed scenes of urban and rural decay. He rephotographs the machine-made images as they appear on his computer screen, framing and freeing them from their technological origins. As Geoff Dyer has commented on the work, "It was William Eggleston who coined the phrase 'photographing democratically, ' but Rickard has used Google's indiscriminate omniscience to radically extend this enterprise--technologically, politically and aesthetically." A limited-edition monograph of "A New American Picture" was published by White Press/Schaden in 2010; upon publication, it was named a best book of that year by "Photo-Eye" magazine, and quickly went out of print. This edition brings Rickard's provocative series, including more than 30 new images, to a wider audience.
Doug Rickard (born 1968) studied American history and sociology at University of California, San Diego. He is the founder of American Suburb X (www.americansuburbx.com) and These Americans (www.theseamericans.com), aggregating websites for essays on contemporary photography and historical photographic archives. "A New American Picture" was included in the annual "New Photography" exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2011.
An expert and precisely selective journey through the sunshine noir of greater Los Angeles, Jeff Burton's first American publication documents a well-worn but little-known trail from the Hollywood sign to the San Fernando Valley: that of the porn industry in which he works. Burton's images, veritable picnics of fragmented flesh, feature figures assembled in oblique repose, lounging around poolsides, or drifting through the rococo Valley vernacular of rooms for hire. In amongst the fountains and foliage of L.A. are the pussies, pets, and hairless cushions of human flesh that stud Burton's suburban sets. Photographed in voluptuous and lingering detail, Burton's bizarre but serene compositions proffer an exquisitely refracted take on action in "Dreamland." A book to be savored for repeated viewing pleasure.
Born in 1932 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Duane Michals has become best known for his compelling narrative sequences, including "The Voyage of the Spirit After Death," "Paradise Regained," and "The Fallen Angel." His work reflects a haunting obsession with life and death, fantasy and reality - thematic opposites expressed through his use of double exposures, superimposed images, props, mirrors, and the ambiguous notations that often appear on the margins of the photographs.
"1990, 12mo, Unpaginated.
For two years in the 1960s, Bruce Davidson photographed one block in East Harlem. He went back day after day, standing on sidewalks, knocking on doors, asking permission to photograph a face, a child, a room, a family. Through his skill, his extraordinary vision, and his deep respect for his subjects, Davidson's portrait of the people of East 100th Street is a powerful statement of the dignity and humanity that is in all people. Long out of print, this volume is a reissue of the classic book of photographs originally published in 1970 and recently included in "The Book of 101 Books." This reprint includes over 20 new images not included in the original edition.
St. Ann's Press, 2003. Dust soil to page edge.
When Ed Panar moved to Los Angeles, he opted not to get a car. Or a high-end camera. For two years. His compact was, "quick, cheap and direct, and that seemed to suit L.A." The color photographs collected in Golden Palms reflect Panar's walking life there, with the cumulative effect of a subtly funny tour through the city's lost back streets--parts of contemporary Los Angeles that most people would simply speed past in their cars. His subjects, including "The 405," "Near Ventura Boulevard," "Tuesday Afternoon," "Summer" and "Coming Home," were often, he says, "like cartoon characters I'd find while I was walking around, like the rainspout attached to the wall, in a city where it doesn't rain." And like that rain spout, many of the images capture especially peculiar intersections of nature and architecture, like a set of gnarled, clawlike tree roots gripping the sidewalk, a squirrel ignoring a trash can next to his tree, or palm trees photographed against stucco walls, looking like Dr. Seussian vegetation straight out of The Lorax. With an interview by the esteemed photo historian and curator, Charlotte Cotton.