A textbook for portrait photographers. In new condition, hardcover, a very scarce edition published in 2018 by RRB Photobooks.The single printing was l imited to 450 signed and numbered copies including a signed silver-gelatin print,'The Giraffe', (1976). The Portraits has been widely considered as a "textbook for portrait photographers". Myers three editions comprise a trilogy of long-secreted masterworks.
Upon release, Portraits received international attention and high praise not only from photobook reviewers but also from both professional and aspiring portrait photographers. More than merely another fine addition to the collector's library, Myers work, rooted in his aesthetic understanding of August Sander, Diane Arbus, Irving Penn... All the greatest of portrait photographers, contains its own lessons; a tool that can be intensely scrutinized, pictures so well-crafted that through repeated viewing their subtleties continue to be revealed. From Arbus, Myers drew an open willingness to see and engage everyone in the community, even those with more eccentric habits and marginalized lifestyles, and to capture them surrounded by the trappings of their passions, however unconventional. From Sander, Myers took the formal grace of the engaged, full figure portrait, where the subject stands (or sits) for the camera in the surrounding context of his or her life.And like Sander's photographs of various professions, (and later Irving Penn's) Myers often singled out workers. John Myers was born in 1944.
His photographs were taken between 1972 and 1983 using a 5 x 4 inch Gandolfi plate camera. "I think one of kind of great problems in a lot of photography is that photographers think they're creating a story, " he says. But what I enjoy is work that is silent. Sander, Eugene Atget, even Walker Evans, the photographs are silent.
"For me photography isn't about the world, it's more like a stage, " he adds. Too many people think that a photograph is about the world - it is in a way, but it's also about photography, and there's a limit to what photography is about. That's why the 5×4 was so essential to what I did, because it allows you to do so little.
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