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LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Notion of Family Hardcover – November 30, 2014
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Frazier offers a perspective from the inside, and her images achieve a muted power without being sentimental or sensational. (The Editors Bookforum)
The first photograph after the title page in this book is a tightly cropped shot of a welcome sign for “Historic Braddock” (sponsored jointly by three companies that make air fresheners, odor control products, and do pest control). The second is an expansive aerial view of Braddock’s historic steel mill; the third a portrait of Frazier, topless, her hair messy and her gaze unflinching. In three strokes, the artist maps the terrain of her exploration: the family not only as a personal unit but as a broader community, existing in the wider world and intractably affected by it. Frazier’s challenging and haunting photographs have previously brought this story to museums and galleries, but in this, her first book, she adds writing to create a powerfully stark family portrait. The brilliance of this volume, and Frazier’s work, is in the way it manages to be both documentary and art, deeply intimate and widely important, relentless but so very necessary. (Jillian Steinhauer Hyperallergic)
Frazier reimagines the tradition of social documentary photography by approaching a community not as a curious or concerned outsider but as a vulnerable insider. (Maurice Berger The New York Times - Lens)
In her first book, Frazier explores themes of economic inequity, racism and personal politics through three generations of her own family, and documents the tolls that big injustices can have on small families and communities alike. (Phil Bicker TIME Lightbox)
About the Author
LaToya Ruby Frazier (born in Braddock, Pennsylvania, 1982) received her BFA from Edinboro University, Pennsylvania, in 2004, and her MFA from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, New York, in 2007. She has received numerous grants and awards, including a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2014 USA Weitz Fellowship, and 2015 MacArthur Fellowship. Frazier teaches in the Department of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a visiting critic at Yale University. Her work has been included in exhibitions at major institutions worldwide. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.