I really wish this was larger. I was expecting a coffee-table sized book and instead found myself, at times, holding the book about an inch from my faI really wish this was larger. I was expecting a coffee-table sized book and instead found myself, at times, holding the book about an inch from my face in an attempt to see the details of a photograph. That being said, one of best parts of this book are the photographs of women doing what were then and even now considered very "unwomanly" things, basically men's jobs, such as fighting fires or working with steel, and of course, looking completely glamourous and simultaneously bada** while doing so. Hats off to these women, both in history and in the here and now. ...more
Disfarmer may not have known a widespread notoriety in his days, but he certainly knew how to take pictures that could define a generation. Rumored toDisfarmer may not have known a widespread notoriety in his days, but he certainly knew how to take pictures that could define a generation. Rumored to have sometimes forced his sitters to wait an hour for him to get the light just so, I think it's safe to say, he aspired for his work to not be merely acceptable or mediocre, possessing a practiced precision, and exceptional understanding light. The portraits he took have a strong gravitational pull, magnetic, stark, haunting, (and a good accompaniment to Dorthea Lange, I might add), these are people who bore a hard beating and weathering from life. Then there's Disfarmer himself, who like another posthumously herald photographer, Vivian Maier, was a fascinating, tightly woven enigma; eccentrics, oddballs, misunderstood perhaps most of all by their families and the people around them. I've been captivated by mysteries since I was a young girl, which makes me wish I could know more about Disfarmer, hear from him himself, but I'm grateful his photos remain, and perhaps that was the only trace of himself he intended to leave behind. ...more
Scrapbooks today, are like scrapbooking on steroids. Not that people should stop scrapbooking the way they do, if they like it, but I walk into a MichScrapbooks today, are like scrapbooking on steroids. Not that people should stop scrapbooking the way they do, if they like it, but I walk into a Michael's and I'm overwhelmed by the thousands of scrapbooking bits and bobs, the racks and racks of eye-popping, overwhelming papers, the gazillion stickers, ornate borders, rubber stamps, perforated, punch out frames, cutesy, kitschy, color explosions...You know what I love? Scrapbooks with black paper. Scrapbooks where the photographs speak loudest on the page, and are only garnished by handwritten captions and notes, and in a nut shell, that's what this book is: a scrapbook harkening back to yesteryear, except that Lartigue happened to be an exceptional photographer, and these aren't just any old snapshots. I'd heard of Lartigue before, but wasn't, in any way, intimately familiar with his work, when I blindly grabbed this book off the shelf in the fine arts department at the library (about the dozenth book I'd glanced at in the succession of a few minutes), it fell open to a pair of photographs of a young boy, sweetly sleeping (faking it or not) that had an immensely charming and nostalgic quality about them, and I didn't need to see anymore to know that I wanted to see more, and in it went into my trusty tote bag (which says "I like big books and I cannot lie" and most certainly does not lie).
This is probably a most unhelpful review, but even if you're not familiar with Lartigue, if you like antique scrapbooks, if you want something more intimate, a breather from photography presented in uniform plates, one per page, and having to reference the index for captions, this one is a treat. ...more