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Thomas Allen: Uncovered Board book – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Board book: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597110531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597110532
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This enchanting book presents amusing tableaux of fictional characters, each coming to life with a quiet yet determined energy... These filmic scenes, set up and recorded with a 4 x 5 camera, have a quality of child-like make-believe, yet with a sophistication that enables the tales to take on a life beyond the page... With its witty narratives, it really is a delightful object that you want to return to again and again." -- Debra Klomp Ching -- Photo District News

"Allen's work is inspired by a love of pop-up books; he photographs these engaging tableaux in shallow focus -- imbuing his full color prints with the dreamy effect of a stereoscopic toy -- and expands the physical format of the paperback book into an otherwordly fantasy." --Flak Photo

"Looked at individually, each image is notable as much for its craft as for its narrative; as a collection they seem an allegory of a pop-history with gravity we don't witness enough today." -- Jay Gardner --Picture Magazine

"Old-school film noir, pulp fiction, and pop-up books coalesce beautifully in tableaux in photographer Thomas Allen's first monograph, Uncovered." -- Jared Paul Stern --BlackBook

"Vampish vixens, drunken sailors, bust-ups and shoot-outs are some of the entertaining images that can be found in this photographic homage to the golden age of pulp fiction, film noir and cult westerns. Thomas Allen cuts away and twists old paperbacks into these subverted narratives, bursting out of pages that almost slide off the edge of the mantelpiece." --The Bookseller

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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What a treat to get a book, open it and immediately be grabbed by the contents.
Robin Benson
In the book "Uncovered," Thomas Allen breaks the two-dimensional boundaries of photography, with his thrilling series of pulp fiction cutouts.
Andrea Goldberg
I'm between pays, but one look at this ripe book, and I dished over whatever they asked.
Jim Douglas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By purplebrain on October 1, 2007
Format: Board book
I had seen a few preview images online, but nothing prepared me for the awesomeness!!! The book is printed on thick, cardboard-like pages (think young children's books), so it's sturdy and rugged and highly unusual. If you're a fan of David Levinthal's stuff, David Levinthal: Small Wonders (American Scene (Washington, D.C.), 4,), this work will appeal. If you're a fan of pulp art, or popular illustration, this will appeal. It makes me want to grab some Xacto knives and go digging through old book boxes at the local antique consignment mall. I'll return to this one again and again for that quick-hit visual inspiration. It may not as large as a standard coffee table book, but you'll never want to put it away!!! It's excellent creative re-envisioning. It's a photographic parallel of what Bill Willingham is doing with Fables - taking long-established works and repurposing them to EXCELLENT effect. If you haven't read Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, give it a try. You're in for a treat, and it gets better and better as the story unfolds!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Ingle on October 11, 2007
Format: Board book
What a fabulous collection! I first saw the work of Thomas Allen in the Spring 2007 issue of The Georgia Review magazine, and was just blown away. I really feel like Allen is onto something nobody else is, both in terms of form and content. I almost don't want to know too much about his method, preferring to maintain the mystery and enjoy the results. This cool little book is a must-have for lovers of pulps, noir, dioramas, and innovative photography.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I always knew that someday, if I flew long enough, I'd read a worthwhile article in one of those dreadful inflight magazines they stick in the pocket of the seat ahead of you next to the sick bad. My eureka moment came in December when I read United's latest issue of "Spirit" (I think it was) and an srtist called Thomas Allen was featured in quite a slick spread. I must have been exclaiming over it out loud, for later on i found out that not only had I gone ahead and ordered a copy from Amazon, but my wife did too, thinking that aha at last she had found a good Christmas present for hard-to-shop-for me.

Some of you may be wondering by now is the book worth it, or is Allen a one trick pony? I have no idea how he does the things he does with a razor blade and a steady stack of old, sometimes crumpled up paperbacks, but they say a documentary is coming and will soon be on public TV to show the artist at work. You can see in UNCOVERED how, in an effort to keep the sliced out cover image at least minimally attached to the book itself (what a curious, seemingly irrational restraint), he has been known to carve out a single line--one here shows a line of smoke mounting moodily from an unfiltered cigarette, so slim and tenuous you wouldn't think anyone could get in that narrowly.

Are they suggestive? And how! It's an Oulipean art practice, born of subtraction, that nevertheless extends itself into eros and beyond. The campy aspects of the original covers seem to dissolve under the application of all that rigor and man meets woman, woman meets woman, man meets man, and undresses right quick, just the way the Lord meant it to happen. The sensual just pops right out, almost like a physiological reaction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra L. Weinrauch on November 5, 2007
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I have known Tom Allen since kindergarten - and always was amazed at his talent. This book is mind blowing when you take the time to think about all he did to make these photos. A great conversation piece, as well as thought provoking.
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By Robin Benson on May 15, 2008
Format: Board book
What a treat to get a book, open it and immediately be grabbed by the contents. 'Uncovered' did that for me. Mr Allen has been scouring pulp paperbacks for years it seems, his fight photo 'Red' was done in 2002 and used by designer Chip Kidd for the cover of James Elroy's 'Blood on the Moon'.

The twenty-eight photos in the book actually turn out to be a varied selection, a sort of template for Allen to go and explore other print media besides pulp paperbacks from past decades. 'Swell' shows a galleon tossed on the wave pages of an encyclopedia, the delightful 'Uplift' has two children on a swing or 'Migrate' with two birds having flown from a spread but leaving their shape so you can see the text on the previous and next page.

The book's production is rather intriguing. The thick cardboard like pages, round corners on two sides and a sepia tinting for an aged look on some pages are suggestive of children's books from yesteryear but the violent and suggestive nature to many of the photos seem at odds with fun and frolics of children's playbooks. The cover is brilliant though. The sexy blond is actually on page three, her shape has been die-cut from the cover.

'Uncovered' will delight anyone who opens its pages. It all looks so obvious yet it was Thomas Allen who seems to be the first person to realize the creative potential of the cut cover tableaux.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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