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Thursday, 23 June 2011


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I leave the penciled dealer prices in all my photo books. Puts a smile on my face even before I get to the good parts. Don't have this one, though.

Dear Mike,

funny, and yet so true. I have translated this entry and put it on my website in order to convince my public to buy my prints now that they are still affordable.
(entry of 24 June 2011)

If by "stupid" you mean "don't optimize profit", then yes. If you mean "direct you to what gives you the most enjoyment for your money", then your feelings of affront are likely to be spot-on. I, for one, am not into speculative art investment.

how much would a reprint cost? $20-30? someone should get that project going.

I'll admit I have a copy of "Every Building on the Sunset Strip" (bought it at the WPA Bookworks in the 80's) and it's a great "book". His market has stayed strong and gotten incredibly stronger. But he is similar to Cindy Sherman in the sense that he is not thought of as a "pphotographer" per se, but as an artist how uses photography.

That said, the books are really great - however at the same time I can see a core of readers not being too impressed with the "photography" of the work. Not that the photos are bad but mostly because of the fact that Ruscha is / is not a conceptual photographer and less concerned about the beauty of the image. For a number of people that gets a bit dicey.

I think he is one of the really great thinkers in photography - even if he has moved away from the medium in the last few years.

Photobooks, I love and hate them at the same time. Love them because they are beautiful and I like books in general. Hate them, because they are big and heavy, the biggest and heaviest sort of books. And I move frequently, trying to keep the stuff I have to pack and carry as small as possible.. so, no photobooks for me. But still..

I found and bought a book in LA recently, "Thirtyfour Parking Lots," by conceptual artist Travis Shafer. It pays obvious homage to Ruscha's book of the same name, but updates the concept for the time we live in: rather than mimicking Ruscha's straight-forward, laconic black and white photography, this new book is made up of Google Earth images of parking lots in and around Los Angeles.

The book made me smile when I flipped through it in a store (Hennessey + Ingalls in Santa Monica, the largest art bookstore in the U.S.), and I couldn't put it down. While my new book is not signed by Shaffer, I pleasantly discovered while looking through it at home that it has a very delicate edition number pencilled inside the back cover. Maybe on day it will provide the downpayment on that charming little bungalow near Venice Beach.

This is shocking. That clean third edition is now approaching the price of 26 tanks of gasoline, at least here in the UK. That's about 10 weeks of motoring.

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