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Book of the Week: A Pick by Fred Cray

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Fred Cray Fred Cray selects Life is One Live it Well by Henrik Malmström as Book of the Week.
Life is One Live it Well. By Henrik Malmström.
Kominek books, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Fred Cray who has selected Life is One Live it Well by Henrik Malmström from Kominek books.

"Life is one live it well.

What a wonderful title; if only we did it.

This book immediately pulls me back to the summer of 2010 in Berlin where I imagined a dark cozy project could be made involving the relics, antiques, and denizens of the bars. Other well known photography books have shown how useful alcohol and bar society is to us.

Frequently I’m wanting to retreat from the daily issues and turmoil of current life especially globalization and corporate takeover. Henrik Malmström’s book allows me to vicariously situate myself in a world seemingly far away physically and time wise — in the cozy, well worn bars of Hamburg.

The crisp flash illuminates nooks and crannies of the bars, the spaces under tables and benches, the painted over or curtained over windows, and the walls with lifting paper or old stains. Wires and cobwebs run where they will. Pictures of ships and horses (things going places) punctuate the walls.

It isn’t until about half way through the book that we see a person. She interrupts our own solitude in these bars. It’s a middle aged woman in a bright red coat with her back to us running fingers coated with intense red nail polish through her blond hair. Colorful balloons, streamers, and cutouts have shown a celebration we (or perhaps everyone) missed. Turning the pages, we see more people mostly with their backs to us or faces down, likely Malmström’s empathetic protection of the bar inhabitants. These bars aren’t the frenzied crowded night clubs of the young, but the spaces of people who want to think, dream, or forget. As we move further through the book faces begin to emerge. More and more faces appear of people happy at a party that we didn’t even know we would take the time to attend."—Fred Cray

Purchase Book

Life is One Live it Well. By Henrik MalmströmKominek books, 2015.
Life is One Live it Well. By Henrik MalmströmKominek books, 2015.

Fred Cray is a visual artist who has lived in Brooklyn, NY for many years. He is a Guggenheim Fellow represent by Janet Borden Inc. (NY). His ongoing unique photographs project has recently led to several books, and it has a current instagram component showing placement of the photographs:

View books by Fred Cray

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