The Last Day of Summer

( 3 )

Overview

In 1990, the FBI entered Sturges's studio and seized his work, claiming violation of child pornography laws. Citizens, artists, and the media responded with outrage. With The Last Day of Summer, Aperture accords Sturges's vision the dignity and respect it so richly deserves.
"In the 58 images of this handsome... monograph, Sturges sustains a delicate balance on a very precarious wire... His struggle is to observe and render his subjects in all of their complexities, trembling on...
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More About This Book

Overview

In 1990, the FBI entered Sturges's studio and seized his work, claiming violation of child pornography laws. Citizens, artists, and the media responded with outrage. With The Last Day of Summer, Aperture accords Sturges's vision the dignity and respect it so richly deserves.
"In the 58 images of this handsome... monograph, Sturges sustains a delicate balance on a very precarious wire... His struggle is to observe and render his subjects in all of their complexities, trembling on the cusp of change. The result of this long-term, communal effort is one of the most clear-eyed, responsible investigations of puberty and the emergence of sexuality in the medium's history, making a metaphor of the metamorphosis from child to adult." --A. D. Coleman, The New York Observer

Magical in detail, these photographs of the people whom Sturges cherishes most are a collaboration of trust and admiration. Phillips's compelling prose both illuminates the images and explores the unending sensuality and complexity of the bond between mother and child. 60 duotone photographs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780893815387
  • Publisher: Aperture Foundation
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 603,236
  • Product dimensions: 9.51 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.35 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2001

    natural, timeless, time-lapse family images of mutable youth

    This is the best book I have seen for introducing and explaining Jock Sturges's work. Before going further, let me warn readers that this book contains many female and male nudes of young children that would fail an 'R' rating if contained in a motion picture. If you do not know his work, Mr. Sturges works with an 8 X 10 camera outdoors (usually in nudist resorts) to capture the emotional, psychological, and physical development of his young subjects. They are usually filmed in the nude so that you can see more aspects of their development, and are usually accompanied by parents and siblings to express those familial relationships. By repeatedly photographing the same subjects, you capture a sense of the person which is constant, in the midst of the dramatic growth and transformation of a child into an adult. The images in this book are much less overtly nude than those in his more recent work, and are important foundations for comparison with photographs of the same models in their late teenage and early twenties years. I particularly liked the essay by Jayne Anne Phillips. For those who are new to Sturges, this essay is a must. She understands and explains his work very well. He sees 'the selves that will live in these children all their lives . . . . ' ' . . . [W]e are animals and angels, approaching the light of redemption with an intrinsic fear of flame.' 'But we were never safe, not really . . . . ' These insights are extended in the afterword by Jock Sturges in which he explains the origin and purposes of his work very well. 'When I work, I try to interfere as little as possible.' If models arrive clothed, he photographs them that way. If they arrive nude, he does the same. 'As I come to know my subjects better, I learn more about myself.' And the book's title is bound to this statement, 'I make my best work with the last days of summer.' There's not much time left, and his knowledge of the children and their families is at its peak at that moment. The work itself is very subtle and well reproduced. In some of the more playful images, the children are dressed in what could be either angel or fairy outfits . . . making them seem both very ethereal, yet impishly young. I especially liked the photograph of Misty Dawn in Northern California in 1989 that is of this sort. My favorites in this book included: Lisa C.; Northern California, 1981 Katherine; Montalivet, France, 1987 Fan Chen; Northern California, 1986 Marie-Claude et Valentin; Montalivet, France, 1987 Weist Family; Block Island, Rhode Island, 1984 Pete, Mike, and Christine; Northern California, 1987 Catherine and Angela; Block Island, Rhode Island, 1987 Gaelle, Marine, Valentin, et Marie-Claude; Montalivet, France, 1987 Minna; Northern California, 1980 You get a feeling of a great comfort with oneself, one's family, and one's surroundings from the photographs in this volume. After studying it, you might want to think about how you can shed the 'unnatural' cares you have that interfere with the expression of your truly loving, and most natural self. I also suggest that you

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2000

    a stunning book

    sturges collection is a stunning, beautiful book. i know there has been some controversy around this work because of the age of most of the people photographed. i am very careful about watching the line between photography and pornography, and after looking at this collection, i cannot call this child pornography. sturges' photographs give these people, both the young and the old, beauty and dignity. i can only hope that he will not allow censorship from the closed minded to stop his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2000

    Great Art, great taste

    I think that the photography of Jock Sturges is art, plain and simple. I'm a 34 year old, single male. I think that it's ironic that most of the works in this pook, as well as others, are all taken outside the U.S. The fact that Jock's home was invaded, in the name of 'freedom' shows just how backwards America is on certain issues. The human body is a thing of beauty, AND ARE NOT porn.

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