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The Noir A-Z [Hardcover]

Julian Hibbard , Stephen Mayes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

14 Sep 2009
Photographer Julian Hibbard offers an abecedary unlike any other. Drawing on his professional work shooting black & white and color photographs for everything from CD and book covers to high-end fashion, Hibbard has paired a word with one of his photographs for all twentysix letters in the alphabet. The resulting board book contains images that evoke the shadowy, sexy and voyeuristic noir aesthetic. Hibbards ability to infuse his frames with palpable emotion draws viewers back to his work, over and over again, as they consider his photographs in relation to words like forbidden, lascivious and quiescent. If The Noir A-Z is visible, people will not be able to resist it. This is not your childs board book! Hibbards photography has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the US, UK, Spain and Chile. His photographs have appeared on the covers of novels by Paul Theroux and Peter Carey, and on the covers of CDs recorded by Jill Sobule and Uncle Tupelo. Hibbard lives in New York City.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher (14 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981780571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981780573
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 17 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,560,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Dennis Littrell TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I don't know what to make of this as a book. The size (approx. 6.5 x 5 x 1.75 inches) suggests a photo album; moreover the pages are thick and stiff like a photo album as though to hold pasted-on snapshots. And of course this IS a photo album. There are in fact 26 photos, one for each letter of the alphabet. The photos are provocative and a bit bizarre, attractive and not attractive at the same time. Cartoon figures co-exist with scantily-clad models. Danger merges with the erotic. People are caught in private moments literally with their pants down, and we are invited to be voyeurs.

The photographer, Julian Hibbard writes that he likes to "examine the boundaries between play...what is real, what is not...." He wants to delve beneath the surface where lie "mystery, twists, encounters with the unexpected, the surreal."

On the facing page of each color photo is a page giving the letter of the alphabet and a tag line, e.g., "A is for 'Abandoned'" with a photo of an old car decaying in the woods. My favorite is "J is for Jeopardy" which shows a young, attractive, lanky woman in a blue/purple dress on a narrow ledge of a brick building high above the ground. Unaccountably she has pulled up part of her dress to show a silk stocking leg as though posing for a publicity shot for a thriller movie.

Stephen Mayes's short commentary identifies the photos as "graphic incidents" which gets to the story quality of the photos. Each photo suggests a text and a subtext. The man in a black suit on a rock wall is "Pursued," but by whom and why, and how did he get there? The woman seen through the windshield of her car is "Transfixed," but why is she wearing white gloves and why the white wig and what is she staring at that has transfixed her?

Meyers finishes with "This is a child's book for adults, a story of darkness told lightly and confused emotions made linear, stories of innocence that can only be understood by the experienced."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Cinematic and cryptic...moments" for "the watcher and the watched." 30 Sep 2009
By Dennis Littrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I don't know what to make of this as a book. The size (approx. 6.5 x 5 x 1.75 inches) suggests a photo album; moreover the pages are thick and stiff like a photo album as though to hold pasted-on snapshots. And of course this IS a photo album. There are in fact 26 photos, one for each letter of the alphabet. The photos are provocative and a bit bizarre, attractive and not attractive at the same time. Cartoon figures co-exist with scantily-clad models. Danger merges with the erotic. People are caught in private moments literally with their pants down, and we are invited to be voyeurs.

The photographer, Julian Hibbard writes that he likes to "examine the boundaries between play...what is real, what is not...." He wants to delve beneath the surface where lie "mystery, twists, encounters with the unexpected, the surreal."

On the facing page of each color photo is a page giving the letter of the alphabet and a tag line, e.g., "A is for 'Abandoned'" with a photo of an old car decaying in the woods. My favorite is "J is for Jeopardy" which shows a young, attractive, lanky woman in a blue/purple dress on a narrow ledge of a brick building high above the ground. Unaccountably she has pulled up part of her dress to show a silk stocking leg as though posing for a publicity shot for a thriller movie.

Stephen Mayes's short commentary identifies the photos as "graphic incidents" which gets to the story quality of the photos. Each photo suggests a text and a subtext. The man in a black suit on a rock wall is "Pursued," but by whom and why, and how did he get there? The woman seen through the windshield of her car is "Transfixed," but why is she wearing white gloves and why the white wig and what is she staring at that has transfixed her?

Meyers finishes with "This is a child's book for adults, a story of darkness told lightly and confused emotions made linear, stories of innocence that can only be understood by the experienced."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'For me life is not a straight line.' 26 Sep 2009
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Julian Hibbard is more than a photographer, though his gifts are substantial in his chosen field. He also is a thinker who observes the world 'exploring the boundaries between play, learning, what is dark, what is light, what is real, what is not'. NOIR A-Z is a compilation of photographs, each representing a letter of the alphabet - a simple enough thought process, but Hibbard manages in these few pages to juxtapose comedy with tragedy, tragedy that has happened or is expected or feared. In his own words he feels that 'Beneath the surface there lies mystery, twists, encounters with the unexpected, the surreal.'

What follows Hibbard's brief introduction are staged photographs, at times with cartoon characters from fairy tales and at other times real life cartoon characters! 'A' is for ABANDONED - a photograph of a deserted tireless car in the middle of nowhere to 'Z' is for ZOOMORPHIC - a white gloved human arm resting on a supposed white fur body of an ill defined animal: we are left to fill in the blanks. After the alphabet has been 'illustrated' there is a brief essay by Stephen Myers well titled 'On the Graphic Incidents of Julian Hibbard' in which the author provides background not only on the artist but on the special way Hibbard sees his universe. This is one of those books difficult to classify. It satisfies the inquisitive mind on the level of art, of social comment, and of storytelling. This is yet another fine contribution to the literature on design by Mark Batty Publisher. Grady Harp, September 09
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans of Julian Hibbard 14 May 2013
By B Powell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an affordable collection of Julian Hibbard's work arraigned in the form of a film noir dictionary. I consider it a must have for fans of this photographer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb photography 21 Aug 2010
By Rafael Atijas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I just love photography books and this is a good one. Beautiful and original, both the photographs and the edition.
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