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Book Review A Small Guide to Homeownership Photographs by Alejandro Cartagena Reviewed by Kyler Zeleny "At its surface, A Small Guide to Homeownership is an amalgamation of related projects produced by Alejandro Cartagena in the Monterrey area of northern Mexico since 2005. The book weaves together the key elements of an expanding urban condition with all the informalities, pains and ecological follies generated from poorly-regulated growth..."

By Alejandro Cartagena.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ409
A Small Guide to Homeownership
Photographs by Alejandro Cartagena

The Velvet Cell, 2020. 360 pp., 6x9".

At its surface, A Small Guide to Homeownership is an amalgamation of related projects produced by Alejandro Cartagena in the Monterrey area of northern Mexico since 2005. The book weaves together the key elements of an expanding urban condition with all the informalities, pains and ecological follies generated from poorly-regulated growth.

Sinking below the surface, however, the book is an episodic journey. Our first foray into the work is through images of landscapes, which begins with the natural, and moves into fresh suburban developments in various states of completion. Onward, we are led to images of bustling offices, where clients and workers immerse themselves in life-altering calls; feelings of impatience and stoicism push against one another in equal measure. Next, we are shown the interiors of small homes made even smaller by internal clutter. From these suburban interiors, Cartegena centers us on cityscapes, environmental portraits, and cars abutted, before leading us to a series of nightscapes under a section titled ‘Bracing for Success’. Who and how we brace is uncertain.


If Cartagena is a guide, he is an absentminded one. He playfully utilizes a Dummies Guide on Homeownership to not only map out a journey for us, but also to provide a space for collisions. Cartagena’s images collide, grinding against one another while contrasting tips for hopeful homeowners. The more time I’ve spent with the work, the more I realize that the images, and the text-ridden pages they are nestled within, are not simply an inked backdrop but a conversation. A conversation similar to Christian Patterson’s Bottom of the Lake or Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin’s Holy Bible, both of which build upon this emerging subgenre by appropriating common cultural texts. This is a genre that pulls from the deep-rooted history of collage and montage found in 20th Century art and film, and the ideas of Post-Photography explored most elegantly by Joan Fontcuberta in the early 21st. For Cartagena, the conversation is about action and inaction, our innate interest in bettering ourselves, and, above all else, it is about striving to meet the American Dream.


By casting his gaze upon suburban Mexico, Cartagena invites us to think about the American Dream. On the back cover, the quote “how to mortgage your future and find happiness” speaks volumes. The critical bones in my body keep asking, when was this dream viable and for who? What Cartagena shows us, while also problematizing in the process, is that there is another way to subscribe to, bite, and devour this myth.

Over the past few years, and with growing intensity, I’ve been thinking about the American Dream. About who wins and who loses, about the distance between people and their sacred ideas of success. At its core, the American Dream is a vapid exaggeration, a rugged and merry fuck-around, a culture-wide attempt at raw boosterism. Once tested, the dream breaks into a crass contradiction, a premise as simple as: for some to succeed, others must not. Those who do not succeed must try, and try again, and again, until they rise or evaporate.

It is difficult to pinpoint A Small Guide to Homeownership’s modus operandi. The work is in the form of a journey, but one that is more of a nebula than a linear progression. As a result, we are given no answers to questions that might be raised, nor are we shown a specific way of seeing, only a topic and its many tentacles. Numerous questions circulate and compete: Are we chasing the wrong dream? Have the suburbs failed in Mexico? Are we building a ‘new’ Mexico? Not all treaties, which begin with ponderings, must end with answers. Through an information overload, Cartagena makes visible a modern crisis, and the constant anxiety that exists as its background noise. Like a conductor, he uses his images as the highs and lows, a way to both soothe and extend the perplexing feeling of a heart beating too fast, of a room made small with clutter.

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Kyler Zeleny (1988) is a Canadian photographer, educator and author of Out West (2014), Found Polaroids (2017), and Crown Ditch & The Prairie Castle (2020). He holds a masters from Goldsmiths College, in Photography and Urban Cultures and a PhD from the joint Communication & Culture program at Ryerson and York University. His work has been exhibited internationally in twelve countries and has been featured in numerous publications including The Globe & Mail, Vice, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Independent. He occupies his time by exploring photography on the Canadian prairies.



photo-eye Gallery Gallery Staff Favorites | Michael Kenna: Il Fiume Po photo-eye Gallery
The online exhibition Il Fiume Po (The River Po) presents the natural and man-made surroundings of the River Po through Michael Kenna's captivating perspective, offering both mystery and stillness. This week, for the Gallery Favorites segment of our blog, we highlight images from the exhibition that personally resonate with each of us.

The online exhibition Il Fiume Po (The River Po) presents the natural and man-made surroundings of the River Po through Michael Kenna's captivating perspective, offering both mystery and stillness. This week, for the Gallery Favorites segment of our blog, we highlight images from the exhibition that personally resonate with each of us.

We hope you enjoy our selections from Michael Kenna: Il Fiume Po (The River Po) and please reach out if you have questions about one of the featured prints!

 — Anne & Patricia

Anne Kelly

I rarely stumble on a Kenna photograph that I don’t like. Sometimes, however, certain images will stand out, and it can be hard to articulate exactly why that is. Over the years, I have noticed that I tend to instinctually pause a bit longer when viewing images that I favor. On a more conscious level, I gravitate towards images that possess a bit of mystery — while simultaneously offering a sense of déjà vu.

Kenna photographs both the natural and man-made world with the same grace — a singular vision. He depicts the industrial landscape with the same reverence as a snow-covered tree in the forest.

From our current exhibition, I selected two images: 
 
 

Ponti di Spagna, Bondeno, Ferrara, Italy, 2018

 
In this carefully composed image, we see a single tree on the edge of a river, six birds are in motion — and the fog causes the river and sky to become one. On closer inspection, we see a subtle ring of water in the river — as though someone has just skipped a rock or perhaps one of the birds swooped down to take a drink. The photograph could have been composed a hundred years ago — or today, but it transports me to “now”.

Many of Kenna’s photographs are multiple-hour exposures. While making the exposure Michael patiently enjoys taking in the world around him. The evidence is the photograph. 
 
 

Night Power Station, Pila, Porto Tolle, Rovigo, Italy, 2018


I have always appreciated Kenna’s ability to approach industrial landscapes and the natural world with the same method. It appears that he addresses both with equal wonder and reverence. As a young boy, Michael spent quite a bit of time exploring the industrial landscape of northwest England — and it is clear to me that he hasn’t lost the sense of child-like wonder. 

In his adult years, Ford River Rouge, an industrial complex outside of Detroit, Michigan, and Ratcliffe Power Station in Nottinghamshire, England are two locations that Kenna has photographed extensively. This image is a bit different in that the river and absence of daylight become such a large part of the composition. The star trails in the sky and man-made light sources bring the power station to life.


Anne Kelly, Gallery Director
anne@photoeye.com
505-988-5152 x 121 
 
 

Patricia Martin

The work of Michael Kenna is magical and of admirable beauty. His images often transport me into an oasis of calm and solitude, reflection and imagination. To observe the world through his oneiric and evocative photographs is to enjoy an everlasting present. 

My favorite images from the current exhibition are the following: 
 
 
Tunnel of Poplars is a domesticated landscape where human presence is noticeable through its absence. A seemingly endless succession of trees flank an empty road. Like natural architectural lines organized in gradual shades of gray, the trees engage my gaze in a perpetual exercise of back-and-forth, an infinite loop. In this image, I enjoy the imaginary long walks I take along its placid path. 
 
 

River Po Headwaters, Pian del Re, Crissolo, Cuneo, Italy. 2019 


Michael Kenna, River Po Headwaters, Pian del Re, Crissolo, Cuneo, Italy, 2019, gelatin-silver print, 8" x 8", edition of 25, $3000
 
In River Po Headwaters, the river reads like a calligraphy mark, or the brushstroke in an abstract expressionist painting. Kenna's ability to draw out the essence of the space is mesmerizing. The long exposure in this image has made the snow blinding and the undulating river black. By blurring the details and creating a dramatic contrast between the elements, Kenna offers us a suggestive space away from the chaotic details of every day living. In this photograph, I like to follow the river up the mountain and imagine discovering its source.

Patricia Martin, Gallery Assistant
patricia@photoeye.com
505-988-5152 x 116




 
 
 
  
 
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All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202
 




Book Review A Parallel World Photographs by Robert Adams Reviewed by Odette England "Adams’ latest book A Parallel World takes its title from Sojourns in the Parallel World by the British-born poet Denise Levertov, which is reproduced at the beginning. Levertov refers to Nature as a beauty-filled world that exists simultaneously with ours, but independent of it. It is a fitting choice for Adams who has dedicated much of his life to nature, poetry, and picture-making..."

A Parallel World by Robert Adams.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=DU064
A Parallel World
Photographs by Robert Adams

Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, USA, 2021. 48 pp., 32 black-and-white illustrations, 9¾x11¾".

The first time I wrote Robert Adams was in 2019. In my letter, I shared with him my love of rural life, of wood, robins, growing vegetables, and spending quiet time with family. I included a small c-print of my father’s favorite tree, an old Stringybark Eucalypt, under which his first dog is buried, near his former dairy farm. In a subsequent reply, Bob mentioned Rex Vicat Cole’s book The Artistic Anatomy of Trees (Dover Publications), first published in 1915. It is a soul-enriching and thorough analysis of trees and how to represent them, and one of several books I’ve returned to regularly over the past 12 months. I know by heart the first line of the introduction: “We know that a fine picture cannot be described.” It continues, “The emotion aroused by a grand picture may be somewhat closely reproduced by a fine prose essay, by poetry, music, or by a mood in nature herself”.

Vicat Cole was referring to landscape painting, such was his profession (and that of his father, George), but I believe his sentiment applies equally to photography. I think Bob would agree. I am reminded of his response to Gregory Crewdson’s question during a live Q&A in May last year: What was your first aesthetic awakening? “As a family, we sang a lot, curiously, and I think music together with nature, the two of them were probably my first experience of beauty and of beauty’s power”.


Adams’ latest book A Parallel World takes its title from Sojourns in the Parallel World by the British-born poet Denise Levertov, which is reproduced at the beginning. Levertov refers to Nature as a beauty-filled world that exists simultaneously with ours, but independent of it. It is a fitting choice for Adams who has dedicated much of his life to nature, poetry, and picture-making.

The book contains 32 black and white photographs Adams made between 2015 and 2018 along the Oregon coast, where he has lived with his wife Kerstin for more than two decades. Twenty-one are portrait orientation, 11 landscape, all no larger than 6 x 9 inches. A good number function as diptychs or triptychs. Only two contain the smallest of human figures.


For those familiar with Adams’ photographs and his many books, there are no surprises here; you’ll see what you’re expecting to see. It is a simple book, deceptively so. The edit is water-tight, so tight it makes me wonder exactly how many images he made during that three-year period. The tritone separations and print quality are outstanding. The subject matter points true north at Adams’ visual loves: light, water, sand dunes, leaves, trees, and skies. Not just those things, though, because Adams also points to (or at) our interaction with them. The damage caused by receding dunes, the splinters of trees scarred by deforestation, for example.

The deliberate choice of cover image says it all: a window, sand its main ingredient, reflecting sun glitter on the crimped surface of the Pacific Ocean. A constructed window, taking almost a third of the available image real-estate, offering its owner a mostly uninterrupted view of Nature. A human-made window, of form and function, separating our bodies from the outside, our lips from kissing air of salted pine and toothed poplar.


But I digress, and that’s what fine pictures, grand pictures are great at. Mental digression from stark realities, yet one hopes that via digression we make the decision to emotionally invest in confronting and addressing those realities: of overpopulation, waste management, deforestation, extreme meteorological phenomena, water scarcity, and the many other crises our planet faces. That we take action for putting the human back into humanity; that we consider the weight of our humanness on the surfaces on which we exist.

Adams’ images, as they almost always do, show us the selflessness of our Earth against the oftentimes self-centered nature of human behavior. He need not change the record because it seems we keep ignoring the song. A Parallel World is its own sojourn, its own chorus that asks us to speak together to protect our sublime.

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Odette England is an artist and writer; an Assistant Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts; and a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. England’s first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing (2020), with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. Radius Books will publish her second book Past Paper // Present Marks in collaboration with the artist Jennifer Garza-Cuen in spring 2021 including essays by Susan Bright, David Campany, and Nicholas Muellner.


Book Review American Blood Photographs and text by Danny Lyon Reviewed by Brian Arnold "American Blood. I find these two words together to be incredibly charged and evocative. Do they refer to the bloodshed that has defined our nation from the beginning? From slavery to Jim Crow and the violent oppression of the Civil Rights Movement? George Floyd? Of democracy and justice? Economic and educational opportunity for all?"

American BloodBy Danny Lyon.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=DT989
American Blood
Selected Writings 1961-2020
Photographs and text by Danny Lyon


Karma Books, New York, NY, 2020. 396 pp., 16 color & 57 black-and-white illustrations.

American Blood. I find these two words together to be incredibly charged and evocative. Do they refer to the bloodshed that has defined our nation from the beginning? From slavery to Jim Crow and the violent oppression of the Civil Rights Movement? George Floyd? Of democracy and justice? Economic and educational opportunity for all? Regardless of how you construe the words American Blood, there is no denying how much these notions have changed in the last year, in the wake of race riots and insurrections. These divergent perspectives on the term also provide the perfect framework for understanding the work of photographer, activist and writer Danny Lyon.

These types of conflicts of meaning and representation are at the heart of Lyon’s career. The new publication by Karma Books, American Blood, is a collection of his writings from the early 1960s to the present day, and provides insight into his life and motivations as a photographer. Lyon has been at the forefront of American photography since the Civil Rights Movement, when he left the University of Chicago campus in the late 1960s to join the struggle in the American South, to document American injustice and the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.

If you are familiar with Lyon’s work, American Blood revisits many works you already know — the usual cast of characters, Hugh Edwards, Billy McCune, and The Bikeriders, all have plenty of air time — but also offers some interesting new material. Included is a 1972 interview with US Camera Annual, “Conversations from a Phone Booth on Route 66,” in which Lyon addresses the interviewer while on a payphone in rural New Mexico — he didn’t want anyone to know where exactly he lived, in part because he was growing marijuana — fully exposing his anti-establishment persona, as well as an insightful interview with Nan Goldin, a kindred spirit of social rebellion. Telling are the photographers and books that Lyon writes about, clarifying his self-conceptions as an artist. Included are the 1981 publication of The Auschwitz Album, an exhibition at the American Holocaust Museum, and work by Walker Evans, Larry Clark, Helen Levitt, David Seymour, and James Agee. These substantiate the moral necessity and social/documentary directives that have characterized Lyon’s work for decades. Lyon also appears skeptical of some of the other photographers that helped shape the art of his generation, suggesting that they lacked the clarity and moral conviction necessary to create real value in photography. He repeatedly questions the substance of Diane Arbus, for one, as well as others who pursued self-absorbed visions. Lyon beautifully summarizes his view on these things in his comment on Hugh Edwards, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s and 60s: “Nothing bored him except pretension and falseness.”

American Blood collects over 50 different essays, reviews, and interviews spanning Lyon’s career, interspersed with illustrations — both iconic images from his oeuvre and more recent pictures made trout fishing or during the Occupy Movement. The writings are divided into three main sections, Struggle, Record, and Stories. Edited by writer and curator Randy Kennedy, the sections address Lyon’s strategies as an artist working on the forefront of monumental cultural conflicts, his musings on the nature of photography and our media environment, and reflections on the individuals who inspired his art.


It is worth saying a bit about the book as an object. It is beautifully crafted with a high-quality, rich black linen cover embossed with inky red text. The endpapers are handmade and show high-quality renderings of Lyon’s “bulletin board” pieces — temporary collages tacked to the walls of his studio. These collages are thoughtful and complex, reading like a timeline of American social and political culture after the 1960s. The book pages are printed on thin, Bible-like paper, semi-transparent, allowing ghostly impressions of pictures to appear among the text.

What’s attracted me to Lyon’s work for so many years is his honesty, conviction, humility and compassion. In an essay, written after his 1980s trip to Haiti, called “Media Man,” Lyon reflects on his perceptions of American privilege and our shared needs for art, beautifully articulating his own motivations as a photographer, writer and filmmaker. Speaking of American blood, he writes, “But it only works when the blood flows. It doesn’t work when arteries are blocked by disease. And it doesn’t work when the body hemorrhages and the blood flows in the street... It’s an artist’s job to keep the blood flowing by keeping his or her blood flowing.”
 

In finishing Lyon’s collection of writings, I conceived of the words American Blood a bit differently than when I first started. Rather than using the term to reflect on American history, on racism and the essential, more idealistic values of American democracy, Lyon uses the term to reflect on being here and now, fully immersed in the value of each day. On living with conviction and dreaming for a better world than the one we all know. The 2016 Whitney Museum retrospective of Lyon’s work, Message to the Future, secured Lyon a much-deserved stature in American photography. American Blood now provides a useful link to establishing a more clear understanding of an essential vision of photography, and is a must for any serious student of his work.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).
photo-eye Gallery Looking Inward: 2020 Highlights photo-eye Gallery
For artists, the act of looking inward is nothing new. It constitutes a significant part of the creative process. Yet, these unprecedented times have made this exercise all the more pertinent for them.

Laurie Tümer, Homebound, June 6th 2018/21, 7:21 pm, archival pigment print, 6 x 12 inches, edition of 15, $800

"Years ago, I began the practice of photographing what I see, mostly framed through a window – New Mexico’s high desert, and the gardens and buildings I designed to photograph. Weirdly, being homebound these past 10 years due to progressing Multiple Sclerosis somewhat prepared me for this pandemic. What has made this endurable is the place I live, a generous subject, and being no stranger to isolation. These images always seemed to need the suggestion of a framed opening, where I pause before these spectacles of heaven and earth that provide respite from the catastrophic losses in the world and in my own life. After years of experimentation, constructing the elliptical arch this year satisfied my need for a frame, I began the series "Homebound", and art's survival value has become even clearer." Laurie Tümer

There is something unexpectedly positive that has been generated by this pandemic: the call to look inward and contemplate our place as individuals on a shared planet.

For artists, the act of looking inward is nothing new. It constitutes a significant part of the creative process. Yet, these unprecedented times have made this exercise all the more pertinent for them.

Over the past year, art has given hope, imagination, and the feeling of companionship to many. This goes beyond entertaining those self-isolating at home with books, music, and Netflix. Art has been a platform for voicing emotional and critical responses to the current state of our world.

This week, photo-eye Gallery shares work created by some of the artists who have been actively engaged during this time. Take a look at the images below, and please reach out to us if you would like further information. Enjoy!

 Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers, Suspended Animation, 2020, archival pigment ink print, 20 x 20 inches, edition of 20, $1200
 
 

Julie Blackmon

Julie Blackmon, River, 2020, archival pigment print, edition of 10, $4000
 

James Pitts

James Pitts, Tulip in Small Indian Pot, 2020, archival pigment ink print, edition of 10, $1200
 
 

JP Terlizzi

JP Terlizzi, Marchesa Camellia and Rhubarb, 2020, archival pigment ink, 21 x 14 inches, edition of 10, $1200

 
 

Edward Bateman

Edward Bateman, Yosemite Gateway No. 2 (with 3D printed landscape), archival pigment ink print, 10 x 15 inches, edition of 8, $950
Yosemite: Seeking Sublime - Online Exhibition


 Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna, Four Hundred and Seventy Five Birds, San Francisco, USA, 1992, toned gelatin-silver print, 6 x 9 inches, $3000
 Michael Kenna: Il Fiume Po (The River Po) - Online Exhibition
» View More Work by Michael Kenna
 
*Four Hundred and Seventy Five Birds was made in 1992, but was printed as a result of Kenna revisiting his archive of negatives in 2020, when travel wasn't possible.



• • • • •
 
All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202

Book Review Side Walk Photographs by Frank Horvat Reviewed by Blake Andrews “If the name Frank Horvat conjures a hazy impression, you’re not alone. Although one of the most respected photographers of his generation, Horvat’s identity is something of a cipher. An Italian citizen born in Croatia who spent most of his career in France, he bounced around enough countries to gain fluency in four tongues..."

Side Walk. By Frank Horvat.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ576
Side Walk
Photographs by Frank Horvat

Hatje Cantz, 2021. 160 pp., 90 illustrations, 9½x7x¾".

If the name Frank Horvat conjures a hazy impression, you’re not alone. Although one of the most respected photographers of his generation, Horvat’s identity is something of a cipher. An Italian citizen born in Croatia who spent most of his career in France, he bounced around enough countries to gain fluency in four tongues. When it came to the language of photography he was a veritable tower of Babel, flitting between portraiture, journalism, landscape, street candids, commercial, and everything in between, including the fashion work for which he is perhaps best known.

Horvat was barely into his twenties when he became friendly with Henri-Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Although he never achieved their name recognition, the connection helped garner his membership into their esteemed Magnum agency, which he left after just 3 years. A poor fit with his affinity for studio staging, apparently. He was included in The Family of Man exhibition, published dozens of books, shifted between monochrome and color, lost most of his sight in one eye, and pioneered the early era of digital photography, eventually creating the eponymous phone app Horvatland. By the time of his death, last year at 92, his legacy was marked by restless creativity and a refusal to be pinned down or pigeonholed.


Among Horvat’s many deep dives was an extended study of New York City between 1982 and 1986. Horvat did not live there full time. Instead, he devoted his occasional stays to street shooting ventures, a week or two here and there, as they fit his schedule. Over the course of 5 years, he built a thick archive of city street life. The rough intention was for an exhibition and book, but, as often happens with photo projects, one thing after another got in the way. Eventually, his New York photos slipped entirely through the sidewalk cracks of time. It would take 3 decades for New York Up & Down to eventually surface in 2018, at Gallery Fifty-One in Antwerp. Another exhibition venue was planned for Paris in 2020, in conjunction with a book to be called Side Walk. Horvat sadly passed away in October 2020, just 5 days before its publication.

One imagines that Horvat would’ve been proud of Side Walk. It is a small tour de force of a monograph, packing 90 pictures into a tidy green package. Collectively, they serve as a sort of time machine. They open a window into the seedy Big Apple of the early 1980s, as well as Horvat’s thoughts on the city and photography in general. Horvat had a peripatetic’s view of New York, and he knew it. His charge was not to channel familiarity but to stake out an alien objectivity. “How best to convey my disorientation?” he mused. “It’s the eternal problem for photographers.”

Side Walk’s nostalgic subtext is boosted by Horvat’s choice of materials. He shot the series in Kodachrome, still popular and widely available at the time. The film’s singular palette is captured perfectly in the reproductions by Hatje Cantz. Set into the upper halves of the pages, Horvat’s pictures glow with a rich contrasty zest, marching in step with the gritty quirks of bygone Manhattan. Perhaps less noticeable but equally important is Horvat’s choice of a 85 mm lens for the project. For the type of found-moment candids he was hunting, this is an unusually long lens. Most street photographers then and now prefer the flexibility and informal interactivity of something 35 mm or wider. Honed by years of studio work, Horvat’s choice has some pretext, but is still a conscious rebuttal to orthodoxy. So be it. He was in his late 50s and had just lost sight in one eye. It was time to slow down and hunt carefully.


Perched along downtown sidewalks at middle distance, Horvat found a New York that was downcast and bleak, yet irrepressible, with a heart of gold beating just below the surface. Shooting mainly in the evenings or in dank subways and diners, Horvat formed a dark and elemental scape. Colors pop against austere backgrounds. He shot often during winter snow or rain, obliterating any promise of good light. Even his pictures captured at mid-day linger in a sort of dusky umber, as if portraying a shadow world with no clear prospects for the sun. Subjects such as graffiti, homelessness, dumpsters, and puddles convey a city that felt spent and tired. One thinks of the infamous headline “Ford To City: Drop Dead”, or of Bruce Davidson’s subways or Martha Cooper’s graffiti, marking a dingy timeline of the period. Saul Leiter’s sense of composition and color also comes to mind, as does Ernst Haas. But Horvat’s New York reveals a more dour take than any of these reference points.


Side Walk’s photographs are fascinating on their own, but they are given substantial heft by the opening texts, distinguished by the yellow Munken offset paper they are printed on. Amos Gitai’s introduction drifts in a poetic haze before seamlessly transitioning into a Q & A with Horvat. Great stuff, but even better is the section that follows, which quotes long sections of Horvat’s diary entries written during his New York ventures. Like a Gotham-flavored version of The Daybooks, they rummage through various thoughts and subjects, musing on photography, life, and philosophy. Entries churn casually through daily tasks while tossing off aphorisms like “the impact of a photograph can be increased by what we know about it”, “The core point of photography as art… is that the composition transforms the individual phenomenon into a universal one” and “Photography is the art of not pushing the button.” As for Garry Winogrand? “The American photographer I don’t like very much,” writes Horvat. “His Russian name escapes me for the moment.”

Not much else escaped Horvat’s attention. Side Walk shows a keen eye, a steady hand, and years of photographic experience. All gelled nicely in Horvat’s later years to form this exquisite body of street candids.

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Read More Book Reviews Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
Book Review What She Said Photographs by Deanna Templeton Reviewed by Odette England "Few are more excessively, irrationally obsessed over, nitpicked, and misjudged than the teenage girl. Teenage girldom and all its visible (and invisible) terrors are the subject of Deanna Templeton’s What She Said (Mack), which exposes the perky and murky realities we lived with at that age..."

What She Said by Deanna Templeton.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ611
What She Said
Photographs by Deanna Templeton

Mack, London, UK, 2021. 168 pp., 7¾x9¾".

Cut through the cassata-like layers of my high school experience and you’ll find an Australian version of a John Hughes film. The jocks, preps, nerds, rebels, and “the rich and the beautiful” as uttered by Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful. I hovered in the middle of this hormone-rich cake. Not the uppermost cream with cherries on top nor the plain biscuit base. I was in the most forgettable of social groups — the group with no name — consigned by the alpha bitches of high school hierarchy. A chubby farmer’s daughter with short frizzy hair, cheap cross-bar gold-tone glasses, and freckles; as far my upper-crust peers were concerned, I’d eaten the cassata and the plastic plate, too.

Few are more excessively, irrationally obsessed over, nitpicked, and misjudged than the teenage girl. Teenage girldom and all its visible (and invisible) terrors are the subjects of Deanna Templeton’s What She Said (Mack), which exposes the perky and murky realities we lived with at that age. From the clothes we wore, concerts we snuck out to see, stuff we skulled, injected, torched, stole, carved, smoked, pierced, crashed, lied about, and lost. Templeton lays it out, raw and unplugged, including her own images and music ephemera from the 1980s expertly woven with her journal entries. Thus, the book presents as part diary, scrapbook, memoir, drama, biography, and handbook of trauma. It’s also an ode to teenage girls everywhere.


Unlike so many male-directed films of that decade — known for cashing in on the teen girl experience for sex appeal, anxiety, and crass jokes — Templeton’s eye is one of an empathetic and knowing observer. Her portraits, taken over a 20-year period on the streets of the United States, Europe, Australia, and Russia, are direct but sensitive. I can feel her care about the idiosyncrasies and all-too-familiar characteristics of female youth. I am especially intrigued by the varied ways in which these girls look back at Templeton, who gave them space to be, space to look like authorities on their own experiences (and it’s easy to forget that they are). It occurs to me that both the photographer and the photographed are acutely aware: a teenage girl is always being watched.

The book is a tough read, tough because Templeton’s teenage pen is so truthful and potent it made me shake and weep. Her words took me back to there, that place, that time I wanted to strangle everything and everyone, then shake the shit out of them until they came back to life and all was forgiven. Read aloud Templeton’s graphic observations and you’ll realize just how far her inner pendulum swung back and forth from irrational overexcitement to razor-sharp wit to gut-plunging pain. When Templeton puts a period at the end of a sentence, I feel her stab-stab-stabbing her lined pink paper. When she uses an exclamation point, I see her seeing stars and cupids. It’s these shhh-don’t-tell-a-soul details that make the book so relatable. I was once that girl, sprinting both toward and away from love as fast as my fleshy legs would allow.

Though the portraits are suggestive of personality and innermost thought, don’t overlook what’s happening at the surface level. The girl with the tattoo “if I die I won’t cry”. The girl with the skateboard adorned with stickers, including BUSH IS AN ASS CHUMP! The tiny scars, mismatched nail polish and socks, oddly placed seashells, a porn star button. They’re the important details a frustrated or bored parent might overlook, but also the doors toward understanding what might be going on inside.

What She Said takes its title from a song by The Smiths: “What she said was sad / But then, all the rejection she’s had / To pretend to be happy / Could only be idiocy.” If you don’t know the song, go listen to it immediately. It starts with a feisty fusion of drums and guitar, a kind of energy that is startling, intense, down-to-earth, miserable, deflating, and ironical. Which is to say: resolutely and unapologetically like the charged performance of a female teenager.


I must mention the cover. If you threw Pepto Bismol pink, Barbie pink, and bubblegum pink into a vat and gave it a good shake, this is what you’d get. It appears modelled on the color of Templeton’s own journal pages shown inside the book. For me, it is Wake-Me-Up-Before-You-Go-Go pink, the color of George Michael’s sweater in that music video. On the back cover is a replica of the little star that Templeton doodled over and over again in her notebooks and diaries growing up. It inspired me to ask several female friends if they had a teenage doodle, which all of them did: circles, figure-eights, spider webs, hearts, and cubes. Mine was a four-petal daisy; mom reminds me that I used to squiggle it inside our phone book while yapping to friends for hours.

The size and length of the book are spot-on, and I’m grateful for Templeton’s generosity and braveness in sharing her actual words and artifacts. It’s more valid and sensorial than simply relying on the standard courier-style font to emulate the past.

What She Said is full of self-deprecation and sarcasm, but also reality, devotion, and impressionable, rampant fun. For all the screwed-up memories and heartaches, Templeton and her friends now have this beautiful compilation to reflect upon.

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Odette England is an artist and writer; an Assistant Professor and Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts; and a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide. England’s first edited volume Keeper of the Hearth was published by Schilt Publishing (2020), with a foreword by Charlotte Cotton. Radius Books will publish her second book Past Paper // Present Marks in collaboration with the artist Jennifer Garza-Cuen in spring 2021 including essays by Susan Bright, David Campany, and Nicholas Muellner.