If one were to name a few photographers whose work is felt so heavily as an influence on the current generation of photographers going through various MFA programs then
Thankfully these are skills that are still relevant to some and represent the last hold outs to our current Flickr mentality of "all bets are off." If I can imagine far into the future, I would wager that we will still be looking at the work of Shore and others and for very good reason. Call me a dinosaur, but I'm a dinosaur who knows what major ambition looks like and rarely is it fashionable.
Phaidon has just published a survey of
Much of the lore of Steven's career such as being a photographer in Warhol's factory, curating the All the Meat You Can Eat show of vernacular photography, his printing of postcards that he self distributed amongst the various postcard racks across the country, as well as his extensive road diaries are all collected here in print. Shore, because of his youthful success within the medium has always struck me as one of those rare instances of someone acting out their destiny. Beyond the show at the Metropolitan, Shore at 14 years old possessed the precociousness to ask Edward Steichen, then curator at the
Christy Lange is the essayist responsible for guiding us through Steven's career and she does so with poignancy and an understanding necessary for the reader to absorb Shore's complex ideas of the medium. My favorite essay however is by the photographer Joel Sternfeld as he dissects Shore's image
The contemporary artists series has always been an interesting and informative look at individual artists and its slight redesign has, in my mind, improved the quality of the presentation. Highly recommended for those both already familiar with Shore and for the uninitiated.
Phaidon later this year is also releasing the much anticipated
A Road Trip Journal is a facsimile of the
Breakfast: Howard Johnson's,
Lunch: Ponderosa Steak House,
Dinner: Howard Johnson's,
Night At: Howard Johnson's,
TV: CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes, Room 222
Postcard Dist: 30 -
10 Exposures Made:
-Intersec.: Jameson + Richie
-Intersec. 4th +
-Pitsenbarger Supply Co., 3rd +
-Intersec.: 2nd +
-Rm. 316 Howard Johnson's
-Toilet, As Above
Glued to the pages beside this information are gas station charge slips (.45 cent gallons of gas!), postcards, parking tickets, Polaroid prints, receipts and other ephemera from a life on the road. A section towards the back of the book will show every image that Shore made along the way with his 8 by 10 view camera. An obsessive and Warholian undertaking, Shore achieves the creation of not only a great body of work during the journey but also this archive which gives evidence to the photographer as a collector of facts. Much of this at first glance reads with sly humor delivered with a straight face as can be expected when given such seemingly banal information -- that is until we get swamped with the flavor and tone of a country that makes this document the natural successor to Evans and Frank.