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Friday, 23 December 2011

Photography books


This is one of my favorite photography books from the past year. Store Front is packed with what seems like hundreds of photographs (including several gatefolds) documenting all kinds of independent storefronts, the kind that are slowly disappearing from the urban landscape.


Store Front is also a fascinating archive of the golden age of commercial signage and it's almost surprising that so much of it still survives in New York.


This kind of beautiful signage used to be ubiquitous in Montreal as well, but is almost all gone now. What happened? Harsher winters? The Bill 101 sign law in 1977 effectively scrapped most of the old signage?


And then there's this new book on the photographs of Teenie Harris, one of my favorite mid-20th century photographers, along with Fred Herzog. Like Herzog, Teenie Harris specialized in photographing everyday life in his city and both were largely overlooked by the art establishment until recent years.


Harris documented African American life in Pittsburgh from the early 1940s to about the late 1960s, from the famous (photos of visiting Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne) to people going about their daily lives in their neighborhoods, in bars, restaurants, at church, and so on.





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