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Fourth Wall

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Out of Context yet In Character

    Amy Arbus' fascination with the theater is celebrated in this fine collection of large photographs called 'the fourth wall' - one additional dimension to the life of the actor on the stage portraying characters in a play, yet taking those actors out of context and placing them in the streets in surroundings that carry the fantasy or illusion of theater into the clangor of daily life.

    The photographs themselves are carefully staged and well constructed, a trademark for this fine artist who carries her heritage form her mother Diane Arbus to even higher extremes. Both artists are concerned with the theatrics of real life - Diane with the accidents of nature, Amy with the magnification of make believe. The photographs in this collection have been seen in other publications (though some appear here for the first time), but the pleasure in thumbing through the many pages of these well known actors, in costume from particular plays, re-posed in a non-proscenium arch in the theater of life in which we all live, gives the felling of sitting with this book a ticket to the inner lives of actors and the playwrights from whose works these excerpts were transplanted. Each photograph is accompanied by a capsule of the play in question - along with some commentary that adds to the flavor of the monograph.

    This is a book that will please collectors of fine art photography as well as devotees of the theater an those curious about the off stage appearances of our finest actors along Broadway. Grady Harp

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