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Marcopoulos' intimate visual chronology of social life in the Obama and Trump eras
This new volume by cult photographer Ari Marcopoulos unveils a selection of more than 600 black-and-white and color photographs taken between 2009 and 2018, arranged chronologically. Spanning a decade, it offers a personal diary gathering together portraits of his family and friends, trees and graffiti, landscapes and urban scenes, allusions to contemporary American life (the Obama and Trump eras) and his own visual obsessions. His self-taught style brings his subjects in close and captures, without sentimentality or voyeurism, the intimate essence of their daily lives and the spontaneity of his interactions with cultural luminaries and his artistic milieu.
Populated with idiosyncratic characters, each of Marcopoulos' photographs is particular to a unique time and place, yet his images reach us through their expression of familiar themes. Like all great photographers, Marcopoulos has the ability to distill a riveting and timeless image from the flux of activity that surrounds us. This massive publication features an introduction by Marcopoulos as well as an essay by art critic and curator Bob Nickas. In his text, Nickas states: "Picture-making for him must be a necessity, an aspect of being alive, of holding on to people and places. This, of course, is an impossibility, though surely one of the key factors in its pursuit ... Ari Marcopoulos may only appear in a few of these pictures, but of course he is in every one of them."
Ari Marcopoulos (born 1957) came to New York from Amsterdam in 1979 and quickly became part of the downtown art scene that included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe. His previous books include Transitions and Exits (2000), Ad Rock (2007) and The Round Up (2014).