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on 18 April 2012
I bought this book to sit alongside Eggleston's Guide and The Americans, but American Surfaces lacks the power those books share. This is, in part, down to the fact that there are simply too many photographs, and therefore less importance is attached to each one. I would have been more impressed if the book had say, 100 large, full page prints - more like American Power by Mitch Epstein, but I can understand that Shore wanted to show a journey so lots of images could be justifiable.
This book is of course no Uncommon Places so if you're expecting the maturity that his later work delivers then you might be disappointed - pictures of meals and empty beds often seem a little pretentious.
Other than these concerns with the content I can't be disappointed by the quality of the book which has a reasonable binding and is well-printed, although it's thickness means that sometimes it can be hard to open the book up completely to see the whole photograph. I'm going to keep the book as I think it's interesting to see Shore's development and it's a nice accompaniment to Uncommon Places, and hey at £12 or whatever it was, you can't argue!
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on 17 April 2012
I first became acquainted with the photographs of Stephen Shore, after seeing him on a documentary on TV. Since then I have bought "Uncommon Places" and this book. In some ways the photos in "American Surfaces" are a bit like a student's record of a cheap trip around America, with no-holds-barred images of grotty lavatories, food on tables, odd people, shop fronts, flash reflections off picture glass... But he has changed the way I look at the world, as regards its photographic potential. So a line of dilapidated garages not far from home has become a surprisingly good photo. These photos may not be what you would describe as beautiful but they are visually interesting. His approach does mean that you don't need to go looking for subjects to photograph, but may learn to look at your immediate environment in a new way. Incidentally, I knocked a star off, as one filthy loo looks much like another...
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on 24 January 2013
Not sure what I can say, this book that has not been said better by others apart from this is a bargain. Packed full of over 200 photos this ground breaking book by Stephen Shore never fails to inspire.
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on 3 November 2013
Photos of food, feet, building, tv, wc, beds, portraits of peoples. A masterpiece that anticipate the Lomography world of at least two decades!
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on 25 February 2016
Excellent
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on 21 October 2016
super
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