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David Armstrong: 615 Jefferson Avenue Hardcover – July 31, 2011
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David Armstrong relishes the one-on-one intimacy of shooting without the air-brushed, over-styled deception of modern picture taking- which is abundantly apparent in his new monograph, 615 Jefferson Avenue (Damiani, $45), a dreamy collection of angelic, semmingly vulnerable young men. (Jack Pierson Out Magazine 2011-10-01)
"The images are romantic but far from erotic. They have a timeless quality, the models awash in sunlight and dressed in variety of corsets, military garb and, of course, tulle - anything but modern clothes and nary a logo in sight." (William Van Meter The New York Times 2011-09-21)
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Rather, Mr Armstrong has collected an interesting and sympathetic crew of good looking, or, if not always good looking, then certainly intriguing young men - and they are very well photographed - although perhaps a disproportionate number of them are enveloped in creamy white sheets! But the accent throughout is on tasteful studies.
The book is a fine production by Damiani of Italy - well printed on heavy stock - with an introduction by Manuel Segade and a reminiscence by Boyd Holbrook (to whom the book is dedicated)who appears to know Mr Armstrong all too well !
There is also an index to the photos, with the name of the subject and the year in which the photo was taken.
A conversation with Ryan McGinley rounds out this very worthwhile production.
This is not a collection to which you'll return often, I suspect, but it is one to be re-visited and enjoyed from time to time. It strikes me as the best of the current crop of books of photographs of young men. There is no hint of exploitation or objectification here - but only of a photographer in love with his subjects.