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Checkered Past: A Visual Diary Of The 60's And 70's Hardcover – October 1, 2003
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...a Proustian vision of an intoxicating, vanished age -- its youth and vibrancy brought to life. -- Guardian of England, March 2004
Nothing opened my eyes like Peter Schlesinger's pictures, and I could go on for days about them. -- Manolo Blahnik
About the Author
Peter Schlesinger was born in Los Angeles in 1948 and studied art at UCLA, where one of his instructors was David Hockney. In 1968 he moved to London, where he attended the Slade School of Art until 1972 and spent the next six years as a painter and photographer. He moved to New York in 1978 and continues his career as a painter, sculptor, potter, and photographer.
MANOLO BLAHNIK was born in the Canary Islands. He studied at the University of Geneva before moving to Paris and then London to work as a set designer. On a trip to New York in 1971, Blahnik was sent to show his sketches to legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who famously suggested, "You should do shoes." He lives in England.
Top customer reviews
Composed mainly of portraits of people he met and knew through his relationship with David Hockney. All mostly in color. Minimal descriptive captions just stating who is in the photo and the year. It would have been interesting to have included some recent closing photographs to see how the work has evolved or close the book with a photo that was staged to parallel the first one. Such as a recent portrait of himself.
Overall this is a great collection of photos that celebrates life and youth.It encapsulates a great time period into a small book that can never recaptured.
It's not a generous book. Too thin. I feel there is more to see and hear about. A good meal, but such small portions.
P.S. was an unevenly talented photographer, but he was in some very interesting places and social situations in England & The Continent in the 70s. He writes beautifully. He's very sparing with his words and descriptions. The expression 'Tells it like it is' springs to mind.
The best photos are sometimes quite tremendous, but a better editor would have presented them better and excluded the rubbish pics. They're embarrassing, actually.
But I'm glad to have this book. In spite of its problems, I like it a lot. It's a timetripper, really and a time and place that I knew personally, so that added to my pleasure. It definitely captures the Art World in the post-Swinging London, pre-AIDS era very well.
I would also like to see a follow on of P.S's life in New York after his move there in 1978.
Schlesinger was invited by Hockney to London's Slade School of Art in 1968 at a youthful age 20. Hockney favored him and imbedded him in Hockney's wide circle of acquaintances and friends living and visiting in the Notting Hill district in London. Artists of every kind, from painters and sculptors to actors, musicians, dancers, photographers, interior designers, and yes, even the hoity toity of British society were gathered around the two. Schlesinger, himself a painter and sculptor, was wise enough to see the importance of the documentation of this pregnant artistic period and kept his camera in hand, capturing this inimitable time - the 1960s and 1970s.
Schlesinger was able to address his 'portraits' in the natural surroundings of his 'models', both in England and on the European Continent. The results are casual portraits of such luminaries as Hockney himself, W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Paloma Picasso, Twiggy, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Celia Birtwell, and Rudolf Nureyev, self portraits - many of these photographs were used by Hockney as sketch ideas for his drawings and paintings.
This entertaining and art history important book contains not only fine images, but also boasts comments from Schlesinger discreetly placed throughout the book, adding to the mood of that particular time during which the photographs were made. The controversial shoe designer Manolo Blahnik opens the volume with an appropriately campy forward, which sets a fine mood for what is to come. Once thought to be merely another photomontage of the 60s and 70s, Hockney's current exhibition throws new light and importance to Peter Schlesinger's book and his artistic career. It is well worth the price. Grady Harp, July 06
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Checkered Past: A Visual Diary of the 60's and 70's
Manolo Blahnik (Foreword), Peter...Read more
interesting and beautiful work succeeds quite impressively in bringing alive a sense...Read more