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Baldwin Lee

Baldwin Lee

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Several months later during an unrelated visit to New York City, I met Barney in his studio in Long Island City.

I was an object of curiosity,” he tells me over the phone from his home in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he has lived since the early 80s.After experiencing the collection firsthand in Tulsa, each of the authors was asked to select a single item that beguiled or inspired them. Chinatown was my exclusive world, and it wasn’t until I went to college that I realised there’s other stuff going on here. The resulting archive from this seven-year period contains nearly ten thousand black-and-white negatives. Lee was born in 1951 and grew up “totally sheltered” in Chinatown with his parents and four siblings.

During the spring term of his first year, he took a 2000-mile road trip from Tennessee through Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, exploring his new surroundings. It was just by dumb luck that the top edge of the photograph was exactly where it should be,” Lee remembers. However, those outside of that classification or who lived “south of the tracks,” well, life was more like Lee showed in his photos. Swagger and sorrow in the eyes of almost every young Black man, including the one who stars in the book’s opening spread.

Lugging an ancient wooden large-format land camera (the kind with a black cloth that you disappear under), Lee would set up his awkward tripod and take pictures. Arriving almost four decades after Lee began his journey, this publication reveals the artist s unique commitment to picturing life in America and, in turn, one of the most piercing and poignant bodies of work of its time.

In one image, the unsparing gaze of two little boys—each sporting matching elastic-waist shorts—appear to scrutinize Lee much more severely than he them, their small brows furrowed. More importantly perhaps, White’s radical ideas about photography – he was a pioneer of abstraction in his own work – were liberating to Lee, who suddenly found the perfect outlet for his own hitherto suppressed creativity. The melancholy infusing these circumstances is never chronicled from a vantage that is pitying, only deeply empathetic and profoundly arresting in its raw vulnerability.Harris, and Paul Martineau plumb Tress’s work and archives, studying ephemera, personal correspondence, unpublished notes, diaries, contact sheets, and more to uncover how he went from earning his living as a social documentarian in Appalachia to producing surreal work of “imaginative fiction.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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