i have collected photography books for a long time, with rooms full of the dang things....but CREATED EQUAL is possibly the strongest body of work i've ever seen....technically top notch.....i originally saw these images in a show at a Los Angeles gallery, with the prints larger than life size, and the power of these images is amazing...you have to stare at some of these shots for awhile before you even notice some of the wild details......Laita obviously worked for a long time tracking down the perfect subjects for his vision...highly recommended!
I took a risk when I ordered this book a few weeks ago. I need not have worried...
"Created Equal" is an astonishing piece of work; a list of superlatives is inadequate to describe this fascinating collection of revealing portraits of American people, photographed at the cusp of the 21st century.
From the moment I opened Amazon's package I knew this book was going to be special. There is no paper jacket, but the book is protected in transit by a cellophane wrap which keeps it in pristine condition. The overall presentation is handsome; the design and finish of the hardback, in subdued grey cloth with bold silver lettering, a pair of sample images boldly applied to the front cover, the crisp binding and trim, ooze quality. The publisher is German; perhaps this explains the high standard of production, but I suspect Mr Laita has had strong personal involvement in the look and feel of the book, to ensure his work is displayed to best possible advantage.
Curiously, Amazon advertise the book's author as Ingrid Sischy, and, as is the case with many `high end' books on art, architecture and photography, I had expected a limited selection of discreet photographs artfully displayed on acres of white paper, preceded by a lengthy tome on Mr Laita's philosophy of life, and detailed analyses of his style and intent. Fortunately her essay is short, informative and clear. Then the images commence ...
As I have now gleaned, Mark Laita is a highly successful and skillful commercial photographer. His advertising images for clients such as Apple, MINI, Ester Lauder etc. have probably been seen worldwide. However, clearly not exhausted by his commercial workload, he has immersed himself in several major private photographic projects on subjects that stimulate his imagination.Read more ›
I received this book as a Christmas present from my best friend of 30 years. Now I know why she is my best friend! Laita's book is amazing, mezmorizing, and I will treasure it always. I will include it in my will to my heirs just in case it becomes unavailable some day. I am ordering more to give as hostess gifts for people who have everything.
I purchased this book about a year and a half ago and have enjoyed about a dozen deep and rewarding conversations with friends and family as a result. The images in here are not only amusing and interesting, but some are quite challening. The book will shock and maybe even offend with some of the paired images, but what you can learn about yourself and those who view the book with you is incredible. This book is phenomenal and can act like a mirror for the reader, revealing emotions and convinctions that were hidden. The book allows you to learn about yourself and about those around you from their reactions to the images and their explanations for those reactions. What does a trashman and an abortion doctor, side by side, mean to you?
I first became aware of Mark Laita through a photo show at Photo LA. When I first walked into the show I was amazed to see these huge B&W prints reminiscent of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. I mean these things are huge where the book, as fantastic as it is, does these larger than life prints no justice. In this framed art size the detail is an overpowering reality. The detail is flawless and the diptych's were spot on entertaining and profound. When going through this book you will find yourself agreeing most of the time with Laita's choices of a side by side of characters. He takes you through a current look of todays usual suspects and a few not so usual, all being quintessential beings of them self. The work put into this book is evident upon the amount of people Laita has shot and the quality which he achieves. Shot on large format film these prints offer amazing detail that even todays high tech digital cannot yet touch. The lighting is all very similar as to not distract from the subject but give extreme detail and a sense of timelessness. Also, what a great title! Created Equal gives us a platform from where we can dive into these masterful images of so many from so far and wide yet still have a common thread; human. Buy this book and it is sure to stir discussion as well as keep you occupied with the many images. This is a substantial book with a great feel and quality. It's sure to be a collectors collector.