Bill Owens: “American Photography and the American Dream” (excerpt) (1991)

The people in Owen’s book Suburbia, are still under the “spell” of the American Dream. They live in California suburban communities where, according to Owens, “everyone… lives ‘the good life’, which means having attractive homes, high paying jobs, swimming pools and shiny cars.”   By James Guimond, excerpt from American Photography and the American Dream, […]

BERENICE ABBOTT: “PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE CROSSROADS (EXCERPTS)” (1951)

Under the El at the Bowery, New York, c. 1950 By Berenice Abbott, excerpts from Universal Photo Almanac, 1951 The world today has been conditioned, overwhelmingly, to visualize. The picture has almost replaced the word as a means of communication. Tabloids, educational and documentary films, popular movies, magazines, and television surround us. It almost seems […]

Boris Mikhailov: “A New Metaphysician”

From Case History, 1999 Boris Mikhailov: A New Metaphysician By Helen Petrovsky If we were to define photography today, we would have to posit its essential anonymity. To be more precise, we would have to rethink the very conditions of its theorizing: it is no longer “my” photograph that has to be redeemed by being […]

BILL OWENS: “American Fine Arts” (1994)

Fourth of July Block Party, 1970 from the series Suburbia Bill Owens – American Fine Arts, New York, New York, Originally published in ArtForum, December 1994 By Neville Wakefield Though conspicuously absent from public collections, Bill Owens’ photo-chronicles of middle America belong alongside those of the better known “social landscape” photographers of the ’60s and […]

JOHNNY MILLER & BAPTISTE LIGNEL: “Coney Island” (2009)

Sometimes the combining of two items, two individuals or two styles, two colors, or two races, two nationalities or two emotions, two boys or two girls, two sexes or two places… or two ages or all of these things… sometimes these things can work together to create a result that goes far beyond the simple […]

BILL OWENS: “Leisure – A Particular Kind of Strangeness” (2005)

From the Working series By Gregory Crewdson A family of three carefully unfolds rolls of sod onto their barren front yard transforming it into a small domestic oasis. A man ascends a bare, undersized tree in an absurd attempt to prune its dead leaves. A young boy sits on his Big Wheel holding a toy […]

BOBBY ABRAHAMSON: “One Summer Across America” (2002)

“Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues, you can tell by the way she smiles… ” sings Bob Dylan, and I know exactly what he means. Since I’ve been back from my trip there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have to fight the urge to pack my bags and leave […]