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Grim Street Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: powerHouse Books (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576872300
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576872307
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 12 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Cohen’s numerous solo exhibitions include those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Fogg Museum, Cambridge. Cohen’s awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and two Guggenheim Fellowships. He lives in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Anne Wilkes Tucker is the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography and founder of the Photography Department at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has curated exhibitions of artists including Robert Frank, Brassaï, and Richard Misrach. Tucker has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Getty Center. She lives in Houston.

Thomas Southall is the Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and has organized numerous exhibitions with publications including Walker Evans and William Christenberry: Of Time and Place and Diane Arbus: Magazine Work. He lives in Atlanta.

Joel-Peter Witkin’s photography, which explores the themes of God, Death, and the self, has been the subject of sixteen monographs and more than one hundred solo exhibitions. Witkin lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By GAR on November 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I lived on Grim Street . In the mid 1970's I lived in the Heights Section of Wilkes-Barre Pa where Mr Cohen did many of the photos in this fine collection. He was a quiet fixture on those streets on a late Sunday afternoon. One would see the tall lanky stranger in his army fatigue jacket and horn rimmed glasses walking along those streets occassionally stopping to quickly photograph a stray dog or an unwashed child along the sidewalk. There was almost a random approach to his subjects but he would bend and sometimes stoop as he would click off 4 or 5 quick "snaps" of his subject and then be off after his next subject. I was in my early 20's at the time and curious as to how anyone could find interest in those mundane often grimy if not grim scenes in that neighborhood. I now have the answer over 30 years later. This fascinating collection evokes a time and place that could represent any of our inner city neighborhoods. The black and white of the pictures captures the mood and feel of the subjects. I recommend this volume as a must have for any serious student of photography or urban life over the past century.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mark Cohen is a restless poet of a photographer. In GRIM STREET he demonstrates his enormous ability to grasp a winking moment of life in the back streets, isolated fleeting views of the ordinary made extraordinary. This very fine book of photographs is less attuned to compositionally correct images as emotionally charged ones. As such it is a monograph of the smarmy, dark, seedy and at times embarrassingly immediate life of the underbelly of America as represented by the streets of Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Cohen's successful forays in to this territory are accompanied by 'interviews' conducted by Anne Wilkes Tucker and Thomas Southall. The composite result is a book that 'reads' like a novel and will remain compelling present in the mind's eye long after perusing it. Fine work! Grady Harp, August 05
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By fortherabbit on January 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
True Color

I, a son of Wilkes-Barre, spent weekends with my father and grandfather in the Heights Section of this fabled coal-town. Though, my time there came years after Cohen's published street work, I can still relate to those dusty images, a virtual urban playground for little boys. Tackle football in the backyards, bordered by massive, dilapidated fences; the distinct, sharp smell of cigarettes in the hands of kids no older than 13; boarded windows, with peep-holes just my height. The alleys I walked never struck me as eerie, they were the norm, they were Wilkes-Barre and to some degree the same is true today. Cohen's unique visual-ethnographic study of urban banality, makes beautiful the unusual and awkward character of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brody VINE VOICE on May 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
GRIM STREET is 142 pages long and contains 100 full-page black and white photographs of street scenes from residential neighborhoods. With repeated viewings, some of the pictures grow on you, and one is struck with the unusual artfulness of these pictures. I found only 8 such pictures. On the plus side, these 8 photos are inspiring and could easily be expanded upon by other photographers into a portfolio of a dozen or so related images.

JUMP ROPE shows a girl standing while holding a jump rope. The jump rope is twisted once between her legs. The image does not include the girl's head or feet.

LILLIAN SALTING shows a hand holding a salt shaker, with streams of salt pouring out of some 20 holes in the salt shaker, where the streams of salt fall into a cloud of steam rising from a kettle of boiling water.

MOTORCYCLE GANG ON GROUND shows a man lying on the ground, while another man pours beer into the first man's mouth. Two hands are shown, each clutching a cigarette. An arm over to the right bears a tattoo of the devil. The photo is an ensemble scene. The composition is similar to these by photographer Larry Fink, as found in his marvelous book, SOCIAL GRACES.

KID IN WINDOW AND GAS TUBE shows a juxtaposition of a silvery metal cylinder mounted on the outside of a house, with a value and bent gas lines and an infant inside of the house. The infant is visible through a window situated next to the silver cylinder. The infant sits on a table and is stabilized by its mother's hands. The infant's bald forehead resembles, in form, the round top of the silvery cylinder of gas. The textures of the gas tank, shingling on the house, and window, collaborate to make a very interesting photograph, worthy of repeated viewings.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Village Gardener on February 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"A lot of it is mood driven, but I don't exactly know where the motive and inspiration to take pictures comes from. So it's very spontaneous work; there's not a lot really to plan." So it would seem at first glance upon Mark Cohen's masterful collection of work presented in his first (and hopefully not last) book Grim Street . From this revealing quote by the author, we are lead to believe that Cohen himself discovers in his darkroom much of the beauty portrayed in his work.

As anyone who has followed Cohen's work knows, Mark has been influenced greatly by the renowned street photographer Cartier-Bresson with his ability to capture the unfolding "decisive moment." But Cohen's work is anything but unfolding, on the contrary; it is literally in-your-face obtrusive, grabbing on film fleeting sublime moments, otherwise lost forever in eternity. One can almost amusingly imagine Cohen, armed with his trade mark flash and wide angle lens, scurrying around a photo-opportunity with Bresson. While Bresson contemplates from a distance the "decisive moment" to release the shutter; Cohen (in his own words) uses "grab shots" often without even the use of a viewfinder to capture what could be called "multiple moments." It is apparent from this exquisite body of work that Mark Cohen is the heir apparent to the recently deceased Bresson, and, one might say, an "impatient" 21st Century updated version of the master.

Ignoring for a moment the obvious psychological and sociological content of Cohen's work, the visual subject matter of Grim Street is indeed at first glance difficult to digest. It is anything but "cheery", often times seedy, sometimes voyeuristic, and occasionally downright lascivious.
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