Patti Smith: Camera Solo

Patti Smith: Camera Solo

by Susan Talbott
     
 

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This captivating selection of 70 intimate black and white photographs conveys Patti Smith's singular experience as a photographer as it relates to many facets of her fascinating life and career. Exquisitely designed and produced, Patti Smith: Camera Solo accompanies the first museum exhibition of the artist's photography in the United States.

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Overview

This captivating selection of 70 intimate black and white photographs conveys Patti Smith's singular experience as a photographer as it relates to many facets of her fascinating life and career. Exquisitely designed and produced, Patti Smith: Camera Solo accompanies the first museum exhibition of the artist's photography in the United States.

Using either a vintage Land 100 or a Land 250 Polaroid camera, Smith photographs subjects inspired by her connections to poetry and literature as well as pictures that honor the personal effects of those she admires or loves. In the catalogue's interview, conducted by Susan Lubowsky Talbott, the artist talks about her "respect for the inanimate object" as well as the talismanic qualities of things in her life. We see, for instance, a picture of Mapplethorpe's slippers or a porcelain cup that belonged to her father, and are drawn into their intimacy and quiet power. Moreover, these images reveal how the camera has proven to be a means for Smith to retreat—undisturbed—to "a room of my own."

From her explorations as a visual artist in the 1960s and 70s and her profound influence on the nascent punk rock scene in the late 1970s and 80s, to Just Kids, her National Book Award-winning memoir of life with her beloved friend Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith continues to make an indelible mark on the American cultural landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"As a child I had great respect for inanimate objects," musician and artist Smith (Just Kids) explains in the interview preceding her collection of photographs. She tells Talbott, the director of The Wadsworth Antheneum Museum in Hartford, Conn., that she's "always been talismanic" and that often objects can still invoke a presence of the owner. That reverential approach informs this book, which coincides with her first museum exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum. This solemn and contemplative collection of Smith's hazy, dreamlike portraits celebrates stillness. Writer Jim Carroll's unkempt bed, Shelly's grave, and Rimbaud's family atlas converge with images of winged cherubs, a bust of Baudelaire, and longtime friend Robert Mapplethorpe's hands to create an intimate experience that manages to invoke and celebrate the subject's presence in these objects. The introductory interview gives weight to the images and garners more appreciation for the collection. Those familiar with Smith's career will find added poignancy in photos such as Mapplethorpe's iconic slippers, but even those who know nothing of Smith will appreciate her quiet snapshots. Photos.
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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300182293
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2011
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
1,413,600
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Susan Lubowsky Talbott is director of the Wadsworth Atheneum. Erin Monroe is acting curator of American paintings and sculpture at the Wadsworth Atheneum.

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