Oscar E Moore

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JOEL GREY’S newest collection of photographs

May 20th, 2009 by Oscar E Moore







IN STORES JUNE 2nd, 2009

POWERHOUSE BOOKS will publish 1.3 – Images from My Phone, a new collection of photographs by Academy and Tony Award-winning actor and photographer Joel Grey.  The slipcased hardcover book, Grey’s third published book of photographs, hits bookstores nationwide June 2, 2009.

“Whenever I see something I don’t quite understand-a shape, a color, an odd juxtaposition of the real and the abstract-nine times out of ten, it’s my reason for taking the photograph. For me, taking pictures is like asking questions,” Grey explains.

On an out-of-town trip in 2007, Joel Grey found himself in a small St. Lucie, Florida museum, filled with bizarre and eminently photographable objects. Feeling, as he had with the images that became 2006’s Looking Hard at Unexamined Things, compelled to capture these provocative tableaux, but having forgotten his trusty Nikon, Grey did the next best thing he could-he reached for his cell phone.

Grey never considered using the camera function of his Nokia 133 before, and was skeptical about the capabilities of its tiny 1.3-megapixel lens. But to his surprise, the same familiar perspective he’d always had when taking photographs was still there; even without a viewfinder, he could make the kinds of pictures he had always loved to make. The limitations of the format-the less than powerful 1.3 lens, the inability to control the aperture stop, focus, or any of the other variables of traditional photography besides framing-proved an exciting new challenge, which Grey likens to collaborating with “another one of those powers larger than yourself.” Grey spent the next eight months shooting with his phone, and the result is 1.3 – Images from My Phone, a collection of slices cut from diverse visual worlds: street art and still life, advertising and architecture, shadows and reflections, natural beauty and urban grit.

Pictures I Had To Take, Grey’s first monograph, published by powerhouse Books in 2003, showed work created over a 30 year period.  His second book, Looking Hard at Unexamined Things, published by Steidl in 2006, featured all new work and highlighted industrial sites, abandoned buildings, graffiti, wall art, detritus and public works from Los Angeles and New York to Berlin and Venice.  1.3 is Grey’s third collaboration with acclaimed book designer Sam Shahid.

Grey’s work has been the subject of solo shows in New York, Los Angeles and Berlin.  His photographs are part of the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Public Library. 

For more information,visit  www.imagesfrommyphonejoelgrey.com.

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