Invisible Stranger: The Patten, Maine, Photographs of Arturo Patten

Invisible Stranger: The Patten, Maine, Photographs of Arturo Patten

by Russell Banks
     
 

In this unique collaboration Arturo Patten, one of the most important portrait photographers of our time, and acclaimed writer Russell Banks visit the hardscrabble north country of Patten, Maine, to study its inhabitants. Patten's haunting portraits of the town's residents evoke characters who exist in Russell Banks's fiction. Banks, the author of

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Overview

In this unique collaboration Arturo Patten, one of the most important portrait photographers of our time, and acclaimed writer Russell Banks visit the hardscrabble north country of Patten, Maine, to study its inhabitants. Patten's haunting portraits of the town's residents evoke characters who exist in Russell Banks's fiction. Banks, the author of Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter, and Affliction, observes Patten's "characters" from his remote cabin in the Adirondack hills of upstate New York, where he surrounds himself with the thirty-seven portraits and contemplates what they tell us about Patten, Maine, about portraiture, and ultimately about ourselves.

The Invisible Stranger, therefore, becomes nothing less than a meditation on what it means to be human. By becoming the "invisible stranger" and obscuring himself behind the camera's lens, Patten allows his subjects to emerge and then presents them to the viewer, who, seeing these individuals, also sees himself. Banks, too, acts as the "invisible stranger," studying the townspeople from hundreds of miles away and reflecting on the complex relationships between photographer and subject, subject and observer. Taken together, Patten's portraits and Banks's commentary offer a dramatic and provocative combination of word and image.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060192341
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Pages:
73
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)

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