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Suburbia Hardcover – November 2, 1999
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The book is always favourably mentioned in photo history books as an example of the 'new topography' with photographers like Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams and Stephen Shore and the critics suggest that the citizens of this suburbia lead superficial lives because they live there. But they can't get round the fact these folk, living in Livermore Amador Valley, California, or perhaps three thousand miles away in Levittown, Long Island enjoy the life-style of suburban living and Owens photos capture this feeling so well.
On the visual strength of 'Suburbia' I bought another book of Bill Owens photos, 'Working: I do it for the money', published in 1977, a super collection of photos showing Americans at work and like 'Suburbia' it includes many observations from those in the photos. Well worth searching out for.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
The photos are all from the area of Livermore, California. I grew up in nearby San Leandro, in a housing development called Marina Faire. Presently, I have relatives in a housing development in Elk Grove. Thus, I have first-hand knowledge of families and their accoutrements, of the same type shown in BILL OWENS SUBURBIA. This book is not quite as good as WORKING by Bill Owens, or LEISURE by Bill Owens. I recommend LEISURE over SUBURBIA.
The following are my favorites from BILL OWENS SUBURBIA (keep in mind, that I much prefer Mr. Owens' book, LEISURE:
Page 12. This shows a husband in a white T-shirt and wife in nice casual house-clothes, with a tall bouffant. In the background is a rental moving van. The man and woman both touch the edge of a cardboard box filled with clothes. The inscription reads, "We moved up to a nicer house. We thought we'd do better, but the real estate man got us. Closing costs were supposed to be $295 but they turned out to be $750.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Owens acknowledges the bsnality of suburbia while pointing us to the diversity underneath. Fundamentally humane and beautiful. Gets better ever time you look at it. Read morePublished on June 7, 2014 by Damon Parker
It was my honor to have met Bill Owens in 1975. My San Francisco Art Institute photography class went to his home to meet him and discuss his work. Read morePublished on November 14, 2008 by Robert Gere