Fueled by the author’s curiosity and rage against the privileged class, Social Graces contrasts New York’s jet set with the rituals and gatherings of rural Pennsylvania. “Fink’s photographs provide the opportunity to study a gesture, a smile, a surreptitious glance.” — Susan Kismaric, associate curator, The Museum of Modern Art
Traveling between the vastly different worlds of New York society and his working class neighbors in Martins Creek, Pa., throughout the late 1970s and early 80s, Larry Fink embarked on a project similar to Diane Arbus's, often capturing in his images some quality of which the subjects themselves are unaware. But Fink, unlike Arbus, doesn't seek the "freak" in everyone; empathy comes through in the Social Graces he finds and juxtaposes, even when the photos are less than flattering. First published in 1984, the book's bias toward the "down-home" Pennsylvania folks is evident in the images and Fink's essay from 1982 (he calls the New York socialites "`political enemies'" in quotations, but only half ironically). Yet a number of the 92 duotone photos are truly riveting, and Fink's observations of class dynamics 20 and 30 years ago still feel relevant today. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Larry Fink is a two-time National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a professor of photography at Bard College. His two previous monographs, Boxing (1997) and Runway (2000) were published by powerHouse Books; and under contract with Condé Nast, his work has appeared in top publications including Vanity Fair, W, GQ, Detour, and The New Yorker. Fink lives on a farm in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.