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Saudek: Life, Love, Death & Other Such Trifles Paperback – April 1, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
There are a lot of classic prints that have appeared before, but there also are a lot of new prints. This book is a very worthwhile addition to one's Saudek collection.
'Our life is a journey, a journey to the end of night' is a phrase from Saudek, quoted by editor/essayist Daniela Mrázková, in the opening biography of the artist, a biography that includes Saudek's birth in Prague in 1935, his internment in a Polish concentration camp for Jews, his survival and early life in Czechoslovakia, military service, multiple marriages and children, and his immigration to the United States where his reputation as an enfant terrible of photographic art grew steadily. All aspects of this interesting, diversified life are accompanied by photographs of the artist and his influences. They prepare the way very well for the generous catalogue of Saudek's unique art that follows.
For those who are new to Saudek's art, this volume will explain his techniques thoroughly.Read more ›
The earliest work collected here tends strictly towards black and white, and the earliest chapter has a family oriention. With no clear break between phases of his career, Saudek's work in the early 1970s tended toward a more documentary style. Then, by the late 1970s, many features of his later work had emerged: studio nudes, often hand-colored, often set against a decrepit background, and with increasing sexual content. Paired photos, clothed and nude, appeared, as did time sequences. Saudek's quirky sense of humor came to the fore, also, expressed in terms of all the other features of his work. For example, the clothed/not and sexual themes came together in gender-bending sequences (like The Wedding, parts I and II) that elicit giggles along with confusion and careful attention. By the 1990s, Saudek's work added models well outside the usual range considered attractive, which added new facets to the sexuality and humor.
This huge, beautiful book makes it easy to trace Saudek's changing esthetic through his images. Readers (in English, French, and German) also see biographical information covering Saudek's life inside and outside the gallery world. A book this vast and a career so varied can't be summarized briefly except to say this: it's an outstanding presentation of a strange and wonderful collection.
PS: The cover picture is actually half of something - the other half changes its meaning completely!
The book contains a large amount of his work. For those not familiar with Saudek's work, please look at some of the other reviews that describe his style. But let's say the book quality is not the only thing that makes it an eye opener. It is a real conversation starter with images that are beautiful, artistic, odd and sometimes pleasantly offensive.
This book is not for those who dislike nudity or the exploration of sexuality. It contains explicit material, including real and simulated sex acts; obese, pregnant, little people, underage, mature, male and female full frontal nudity. For those looking for straight beauty/models/nude/sexuality, I would recommend Roy Stuart or Guy Bourdin first. However, if you enjoy an odder or wider range of sexuality in an artistic package and unique hand colored photographic style, Saudek does not disappoint. Leafing through the pages while writing this review, reminded me at how beautiful his odd view is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic! Simply the best Saudek book thus far. I wouldn't miss this one.Published on October 22, 2008 by S. Pagan
I saw Jan Saudek's work at his gallery in Amsterdam (1970's) and then on a series of postcards. Finally, I saw his stuff on the walls of Good Vibrations in San Francisco and... Read morePublished on June 17, 2008 by Richard
Sometimes there are masterpieces hard to comment of.
Perhaps, works by Daniela Mrázková known as Jan Saudek belong to this category. Read more
this is an amazing collection of photographs by saudek who i accidently discovered on the internet one day. there really is no one else like him... Read morePublished on June 5, 2007 by howard johnson