Repeating this post from my Summer residency in LA, 2016. Cody’s is a special place, dear to the hearts of SoCal music fans and especially MUSICIANS. The Glen Roberts Big Band probably wouldn’t exist if not for Thursday nights at Cody’s Cantina. And on and on.
Don’t let shady Trump-like real estate tactics prevail. Stand up for Cody’s!
Click link to original music track, ‘Long Gone Blues’ by David Butterfield. Come out to Landers Brew, this Saturday, 9/23 8pm. Joe Garcia-urban desert cabaret. Also showing original art and photography. Thanks Joe and Joanna.
Andre Kertesz, OF NEW YORK… Knopf, 1976. 184 gravure printed photographs.
I remember seeing OF NEW YORK… in the MoMA bookstore around the time it was published. $22.50 was a lot in 1976.
The book left a lasting impression. I’ve loved gravure printing of black and white photographs since I discovered Weegee’s Naked City in the stacks at the old LA Main Library, 1968. Another gravure printed masterpiece is William Claxton’s Jazz. The first edition, 1952, of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment and Verve magazine, 1937-39 were printed in heliogravure, in Paris. All of these publications are classics of black and white photography.
When I sell my own work I nearly always blow the proceeds on records, photo gear, music gear or photo books. These are my luxury items. Found OF NEW YORK… on eBay and jumped on it as soon as the description got to 184 gravure prints! That’s what made an impression on me in 1976, looking at the book in MoMA store. The greatness of Kertesz, enhanced by the velvet richness of gravure.
I put on the new Willie Nelson CD, God’s Problem Child, when I got home from the Post Office. Opened the package and took a joy ride through OF NEW YORK… Put on Rodney Crowell’s new cd Close Ties about halfway through the book. Suffice it to say, I love New York City and great photographs of NY are also special to me. Weegee’s Naked City, a love letter written in 1945. OF NEW YORK–memoir of a love affair 1937–1976.
Walker Evans- Havana 1933. Pantheon, 1989. Essay by Gilles Mora.
Best $7 ever spent on eBay. Walker Evans first major photo-essay, to illustrate The Crime of Cuba, 1933, a political book by Carleton Beals with 31 Evans photographs printed in aquatone. By today’s standards the 1933 book has sub par photo reproduction. Havana 1933, 1989, has 111 gorgeous duotones printed in Italy.
I haven’t yet read Gilles Mora’s essay, translated from French, but I am familiar with another great photo book he did, Bernard Plossu’s New Mexico. Text by Gilles Mora, foreword by Edward T Hall. Plossu’s Frenchmans take on New Mexico, my home state, in the early 80s is another recently discovered favorite of mine. It’s easy to see how Mora would be drawn to the work of Walker and Plossu. Foreigners discovering a new cultures through the lens of a camera.
Evans photographs of Cuba were well received. The Museum of Modern Art exhibition and catalog, American Photographs, followed in 1938. The 1938 MoMA book currently selling for $3-4,000. I have the 75th anniversary edition. This book has long been considered a benchmark of American photojournalism/fine art street photography. Walker Evans– Havana 1933 displays his greatness every bit as much as American Photographs.