Irving Penn: Small Trades Hardcover – 19 Nov 2009
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"The book is a work of art in its own right; an object of beauty, and a Noah's ark for vanishing trades." "The Jewish Chronicle""
About the Author
Virginia Heckert & Anne Lacoste are associate and assistant curator, respectively, in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Using the studio setting in much the way his fashion images were created, Penn uses for each of these portraits a textured wall that captures an array of light and shadow in subtle ways and in front of this backdrop he invited bakers, cleaners, maids, and craftsmen of all trades to pose, face forward, alone and in pairs, and gives these simple 'models' the same treatment of dramatic light and shadow eloquence that had made him famous. The results are an embarrassment of riches of capturing the most genteel vision of 'Small Trades' available in one collection. This is a book of beautiful art as well as an appreciation of the people who make our lives work smoothly. A fine reminder of Irving Penn's enormous talent. Grady Harp, November 09
Published to document the inception of the "Small Trades" collection by the Getty, this book is a must have for photo buffs and for me recaptures the magic of the first time experience, and then some. Among other fascinating nuances, book shows several spreads of early silver prints beside later platinum-palladium refinements; I think close study shows Penn's devotion to and perfection of minimalism. The quality of reproduction here is really excellent.
One of the most interesting Penn work.
Several years ago I saw a photograph of a young couple (appeared to be cooks because the man holds a cooking pan in his hand) in a setting very similar to Penn's. It was on the wall in our favorite pasta shop. The shop owner could not tell me where the photo came from nor who took it. The image stayed with me for years and now I think it may be one of Irvin Penn's small trade people series (though not in the book).
You must own this collection if you like long lasting photographs of people.
(*) from a very different period and culture.