Larry Sultan: Here and Home by Rebecca MorseThis first comprehensive overview of celebrated photographer Larry Sultans work accompanies a major retrospective and features work from every significant series, including Homeland, his most recent body of work. This first comprehensive overview of celebrated photographer Larry Sultans work accompanies a major retrospective and features work from every significant series, including: Evidence (1977), the conceptual project with Mike Mandel, which broke ground by demonstrating how context and sequence directly influence our interpretation of photographs; Pictures from Home (1982-92), a personal exploration of family and domesticity challenging larger notions of representation through use of contemporary pictures of Sultans parents contrasted with movie stills from his childhood; The Valley (1998-2003), a deliberate inquiry into the subversion of the suburban homes commonly used by the porn industry as sets for films; and Homeland (2006-09), Sultans most recent body of work, depicting day laborers posed in evocative California settings suggesting both dislocation and longing. Also featured are additional early collaborative works with Mandel, selected later career editorial work, and writings by and interviews with Sultan elucidating his creative process.
Larry Sultan True Stories - The Valley
Boxers, Mission Hills , from the series The Valley , This compact yet broad-reaching retrospective brings back Evidence , the pioneering book project from that explored ambiguity and appropriation by taking archival government and corporate images out of context. In addition to more than photographs and an actual billboard, the display includes Study Hall , which takes a peek at his creative process through books, ephemera and touch screens displaying discarded images. Woman in Curlers , from the series The Valley , Practicing Golf Swing , from the series Pictures from Home ,
Larry Sultan, Discussion, Kitchen Table , He put the suit on because his son, who had just begun photographing him obsessively, asked him to. He sat on the bed because he needed to rest. It was like being an actor on a film set, and then seeing cameras start to roll when you were taking a break—entirely unfair. It also was not a photograph about him. The point of looking so closely at his parents, quirky, charismatic and probably hot-tempered, seems to be to understand his own tastes and origins. He hired the laborers, then took them to vacant lots or un-landscaped yards in the San Fernando Valley.
He produced the award-winning documentary Bill Cunningham New York.
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An accomplished photographer with works in the permanent collections of museums like the Tate Modern, the Whitney and the Guggenheim, he began a year teaching career in at California College for the Arts in San Francisco, mentoring young hopefuls while observing in his own work the absurdity, pathos and alienation of middle-class suburbia. Also included is his collaboration with photographer Mike Mandel , Evidence, as well as proto-street art billboards from the beginning of his career, and his final series, Homeland, unfinished at the time of his death in Sultan grew up in the 50s and 60s in the San Fernando valley, just over the hill from Hollywood. Car culture was cruising into the national fabric, the aerospace industry was taking off and suburbia was starting to sprawl. We saw all the development, all shopping malls, the cars and freeway.
One of the most influential photographers of his generation, Larry Sultan — consistently challenged photographic conventions—from the conceptual playfulness of his early collaborations to the investigation of documentary strategies in his solo work. Raised in the San Fernando Valley, Sultan moved to Northern California in the early s, but continued to draw inspiration from the architecture, atmosphere, and attitude of Southern California. For 27 years, they collaborated on billboards, book projects, exhibitions, and other forms of conceptually based public artworks that tested traditional ideas about authorship and display strategies. By initiating conversations around appropriation and the influence of context on meaning, their work was instrumental in defining the role of photography in conceptual art of the s. Evidence was their breakthrough body of work —77 and the one for which they are best known. The combination of government funding and official-looking letterhead of their own design convinced many to comply, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Semiconductor, Northrop, Sunkist, and the General Atomic Company, among others.