Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Richard Renaldi Photographer Richard Renaldi selects The 99 / The 9 by Katy Grannan as photo-eye Book of the Week.
Fraenkel Gallery, 2014.
"In the early 2000s I spent a couple of years photographing in the Central Valley of California, a visually compelling region that has caught the eyes of photographers since the Depression. The subjects of Katy Grannan's new work The 99 / The 9 are the mostly poor inhabitants of Bakersfield, Fresno and Modesto, and the arid, urban streetscapes along Modesto's main drag. Though Grannan's portraits are strongly lit — with direct sun as the only source of light — the marked and weathered textures of her subjects' skin and clothing hint at reservoirs of darkness beyond the reach of the midday sun. The landscapes alternate between heroic vistas and mysterious narratives, often populated by figures who appear to be up to something. Transactions documented along the riverbank, in the cheap motels and empty lots of Modesto suggest that what we are witnessing is best kept to ourselves. Grannan is one of a handful of American fine art photographers whose work focuses on the poor and the dispossessed, shining a light on their harsh existence." —Richard Renaldi
Figure and Ground, was published by Aperture. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Renaldi's most recent monograph, Touching Strangers, was published by the Aperture Foundation in the spring of 2014.