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Life Below: The New York City Subway Hardcover – September 30, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Shot between 1997 and 2000, French photojournalist Agou's subway portraits stick to the gritty b&w protocol set by generations before him and deliver satisfying set pieces. An exhausted Latino worker sprawled out on the steps in the heat, waiting interminably for the train; a sensitive looking Clark Kent type in madras shorts staring blankly out the window of a passing train; an emaciated nun dozing but alert; trash blowing above grates; the bulging stomach of a mid-level employee in outdated shirt and tie; a tangle of wires leading to an antiquated P.A. speaker—it's all here, including what looks like a pool of blood on a concrete concourse. The printing of these 64 duotones is sharp, with a maximum of one photo per page and some spreads. As the publicity note states, New York City is considering banning "unauthorized" photography in the subway, so Agou's subject and style, which are commonplace now, may become rarer.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Christophe Agou's work has been published in major magazines, exhibited in Europe and the US and represented in numerous public collections, notably The Smithsonian Institution and Les Galaries Photo Fnac.
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2.A POET AT WORK ,WHO JOINS ROBERT FRANK ,WALKER EVANS,GENE SMITH, IN THE CHURCH OF WHAT IS HAPPENING BABY!
3.A BOOK COLLECTORS ADVICE: BUY A BUNCH OF THESE ,OH WHAT A HOSTESS GIFT!
4.THANKS FOR A BEAUTIFUL BOOK ,MY GUESS IS THEY ARE ALSO BEAUTYFUL PRINTS IN ORIGINAL ,WELL THE PUBLISHER DID THE PHOTOGRAPHER PROUD.
I've spent A LOT of time on NYC's subway trains headed to all different places at all hours of the day/night, but this somewhat small book of black & white photos just does NOT bring to life the average experience.
I get that this is supposed to be artistic and ethereal, however--no offense to the photographer--to me it just looks like page after page of "dash-n-run" photos done by an amateur. I mean there's one photo that spans two pages and it's nothing but streaks of light & a complete BLUR. It's honestly a blur...you have no idea what the photo is OF/what you're looking at.
I relied solely on reviews before ordering this book, but simply can't agree with the others. There are endless books on NYC subway photography. Most any of them have to be better than this one. Especially those that are in COLOR!
i have travelled myself in many, many subway systems, but new york, as it is very special place itself, has the most interesting mix of people and he did catch this feeling with his camera.........he did protrait these individuals with the glimmering light of the subway.
a book i will often take to my hands in combination a nice glass of wine to relax and to shift to this amazing place.....