BADLANDS – Charles Gatewood
Published by Goliath – 2000 – Germany
15,2 x 22,9 cm – 448 pages in n&b – Soft cover
With this book Gatewood proves himself to be the undisputed master of documenting America’s often perverse alternative counterculture. This book is a mixture of cultural anthropology, daring photojournalism, and cutting-edge erotica. It is a retrospective of his work, beginning with early ’60s portraits of Bob Dylan, Alan Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs; then takes us through the red light districs of New York City in the ’70s, it’s undoing in Wall Street in the ’80s, and brings us into the present with beautiful and haunting photos of the freaks of San Francisco, New York, and LA: e.g. “slave kas” is seen in ’90s San Francisco, an eerie but inviting grin on her face as she pulls off her tight vinyl corsette, highlighted by a heart painted on her pierced breasts with blood. This book is a glimpse, nay, so well done, an invitation to a world that few of us ever get to see. This is a conversation starter for sure, and an enduring and timeless book of art.
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