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The Creeping Horror Of The Everyday,
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This review is from: Haunted Air (Hardcover)
Ossian Brown's incredible collection of found Halloween pictures is an absolute must for anyone with an affinity for the extraordinary. Looking through this book is like stumbling across a bizarre family album depicting an alternate reality where the American suburbs of yesteryear were descended upon by gangs of diminutive creatures somehow captured on film before they retreated into the shadows.
The sepia-toned, awkwardly-framed and hazy images convey a nightmarish intensity. Many of these photographs predate the mass production of Halloween masks and costumes, lending the crudely improvised outfits a genuinely sinister aura. Most chillingly of all, these evil clowns, merry demons and hessian-cowled figures inhabit the everyday: they pose on picket-fenced lawns, leaf-strewn porches and in living rooms, nestled comfortably in rocking chairs beside the fireplace.
This beautiful hardback is bound in appropriately sombre black cloth, with each photograph presented uncropped, one per page. David Lynch fittingly contributes the introduction (who better to preface a collection of images conveying the creeping, fantastical dread lurking behind the seemingly everyday?). Geoff Cox's eloquent afterword poetically traces the origins of Halloween, the ancient tradition reinterpreted most wondrously of all in America.
Thanks to Ossian Brown, this long-dead group of disparate amateur photographers and their subjects have created the best photography book of 2010. "Haunted Air" belongs in the library of anyone with an interest in photography and the shadows that lurk within.