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Stranger Passing Paperback – January 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Melcher Media; First Edition edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918471656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918471659
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,827,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Kevin Smith on September 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
These sixty portraits of American strangers are rich with an intelligent, questioning beauty. I was dazzled by the exhibit in San Francisco, but now I'm especially glad to have the accompanying book. I rarely find it worthwhile to purchase museum exhibit catalogues, but what I love about "Stranger Passing" is that I can ponder a given image as long as I like, "reading and re-reading" it as I would a really good short story. Indeed, many of these portraits seem as laden with interpretive possibilities as a story by Chekhov or Alice Munro or T. C. Boyle. From a grizzled woman selling papers in the middle of a Colorado boulevard, to a solitary New York banker having dinner, his aloneness matched by a single tulip in front of his little bistro table: I found myself deeply moved by the lavish yet subtle artistry Sternfeld has bestowed on these people and places--each one unique yet somehow familiar--that he encountered in this strange and wonderful country of ours.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Boris Aleksandrovsky on August 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Joel Sternfeld travels the roads of America, and takes pictures with his large-format camera. Although all his pictures include people in various situations (attending a party, selling coffee, hanging out in their own homes, vacationing, promenading, relaxing, observing, working), what he is really interested in, is the depiction of landscapes and soft outplay of the mid-afternoon light. There is an overwhelming sense of loneliness. His composition style is superb; his depiction of quality of light reflections of the industrial surfaces is without precedence. In my opinion, Sternfeld really stands on its own. Not since Robert Frank's "The Americans" have I seen such a collection. His compositions are best reminiscent of Philip-Lorca diCorcia's; but somehow people are not the center of attention (and sometimes not even of focus), what is important is the quality of landscapes and how they shape human lives.
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Format: Hardcover
"American Prospects," a landmark study of how the modern social order is revealed through landscape, published in 1988, brought brilliant photographer Joel Sternfeld to international attention. Sternfeld expanded this study with "A Stranger Passing." The sixty color portraits of ordinary Americans included in this book, and made over a fifteen year period, were first shown at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2001, and published at the same time.

Although Douglas R. Nickel describes this book as a collection of portraits in his introductory essay, Joel Sternfeld's vivid images are so much more than traditional photographic portraiture. The pictures go beyond reflecting a mere image of the subject, no matter how interesting or aesthetic. And Sternfeld's subjects are more than the people being photographed. He has captured here the very essence of our culture - Americans, depicted in the context of their daily lives, during odd moments between events. Many of the warmest images feature relationships between two people.

Each photograph tell a story. The volume's cover portrait is titled "Young Man Gathering Shopping Carts." A teenager, with blond bobbed hair, open shirt, loosened tie, stands in a parking lot cluttered with pink shopping carts. The ubiquitous strip mall is the backdrop. His stance, the look of discontent on his face, and the generic locale say much more than most narratives. Sternfeld stirs the viewers imagination. One cannot help but wonder about the subjects' lives - the before and after of each picture. "A Lawyer with Laundry," New York, portrays a seemingly reluctant subject, laundry in hand, leaning against a newsstand while warily suffering the photographer's attention.
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