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Sugimoto: Portraits Hardcover – July, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, July, 2003
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Sugimoto: Portraits is the definitive discussion to date of the thought-provoking contemporary photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Following a career that has focused on formal studies of museum dioramas, cinema interiors, and exquisite seascapes, Sugimoto accepted a commission from the Guggenheim to create a series of life-size black-and-white portraits of waxwork figures. His latest method of working enables him to take pictures of people who existed long before the invention of the camera: "I wanted to be the first sixteenth-century photographer," he says of his carefully constructed portraits of Henry VIII and his six wives. He notes that during the 18th century, wax figures played the same role of preserving a likeness as a portrait photograph.

Seventy-five of Sugimoto's waxwork portraits are reproduced here in richly textured duotones. Context for this latest direction taken by the artist is provided by examples of his earlier work and famous portraits by Holbein, Rembrandt, and others. An extensive bibliography and chronology complete the academic contribution of this elegant book. The many-layered conceptual questions related to "the archaeology of time" that his works inspire are explored in several essays, but the most successful chapter is a lively interview with Sugimoto himself. He tells how he photographed a tableau based on Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper that he discovered with delight in a small Japanese town; he is fascinated by the ironies of a Japanese man photographing an icon of Western art exhibited in Japan, fabricated in wax by Mexican workers using a European tradition. --John Stevenson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Hedgecoe and Snowdon depict a man with his hands rather than face, but Sugimoto's portraits are far more radical. Their difference seems immediately obvious. Many of their subjects are dressed in clothing from much earlier periods and resemble famous painted portraits of historical figures. Others are contemporaries--Arafat, Castro, the pope--but look too familiar and perfect, standing in characteristic attitudes but before a black backdrop, not in the milieus in which they would look natural. Are they actors? No, they're wax figures. Sugimoto is much more conceptually rigorous than Snowdon or even an antic like David LaChapelle (Hotel LaChapelle, 1999) and lacks archness. He is concerned with aesthetic questions, such as what representation is and has been historically. The commentators in this book, who include, in an interview, Sugimoto, explain it all, as well as earlier projects by the elegant and cerebral Japanese photographer. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Guggenheim Museum Publications
  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Guggenheim Museum (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089207289X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892072897
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 10.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,315,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This elegant and eloquent collection of "portraits" is a compendium of photographs of sculpted wax figures by Sugimoto. As if the idea of electing to photograph these historically garbed figures weren't sufficient to merit attention, Sugimoto has enhanced these haunting images with sensitive lighting and positioning on the lens so that it appears he has gathered models, dresssed them in costume, and set up studio stages. This book is a must for lovers of photography, portraiture, and art in general. A beautiful addition to art libraries!
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By A Customer on December 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Always thrilled to see what this master of conceptual photography will come up with next.
This book features Mr.Sugimoto's recent series of photographs of wax figures of famous historical figures. If you don't know they are wax figures you might at first glance think that they are old master paintings... the realization that these are in fact wonderfully executed large scale photographs of equally wonderfully executed wax figures is at first a little shocking and ultimately fascinating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book.. excellent photographer
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Format: Hardcover
What I have here is his new world. Impressive. I remember his ocean and theater photogragh deep in my heart for a long time. I feel safe this time to see his new approach.
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