Eugene Richards in amazing technicolor

Eugene Richards - The Blue Room

An appreciation of Eugene Richards‘ work is tautological. It’s like saying “I like the Beatles.” In the foreword to the Richards’ Phaidon 55 book (beautiful series, by the way, sort of a Norton Anthology of World Literature for photography), the author talks about how every photographer has their “Eugene Richards” picture; he’s been incredibly influential and his work will no doubt stand in history as some of the greatest documentary photography produced.

That’s why I got excited when I noticed on Rachel Hulin’s blog that Richards has a new book, The Blue Room, coming out soon. It’s in color, and it might seem like a departure from his usual gritty, intimate, intensely personal photography. And while the people may be gone from a lot of the pictures, and color’s been introduced, it’s just part of the same story (oooh…used copy for $20) he’s been photographing his entire career from Dorchester Days and the Arkansas work to the recent essays on American soldiers for the Nation (which just started up again in June and September).

Eugene Richards for the NYT -  American Exodus: An abandoned house just outside Corinth on Highway 42 in northwest North Dakota.

Some of the pictures which I imagine are part of the project have been published by National Geographic and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Richards is no stranger to controversy, and even these pictures of abandoned buildings and the communities that once supported them have drawn the ire of at least some neighbors in North Dakota, including the state’s governor. “The guy`s got to be an idiot,” said a former mayor of Mott, ND, to a local news outlet. At least that means people are paying attention to the photos. I can’t wait to see the book.

5 Responses to “Eugene Richards in amazing technicolor”

  1. Matt Lutton

    I can’t wait to see it either … great post with terrific links … showing me up!

  2. Les Clark

    I’ve been friend and assistant to Gene for over 20 years now and was with him for our many weeks in North Dakota for NGS and Time Magazine. A lot of the photos in The Blue Room are from those travels and from our travels to Neb, NM, Kansas etc. My question is…why no one has reveiwed this book by now…release is around the 1st of Dec. 08 ? Amazing considering the strength of the work and who the artist is.
    Just a thought. Well done web site..keep up the good work.
    Les Clark

  3. M. Scott Brauer

    Thanks for the comment, Les! I wish I knew why nobody’s talking about this book. Can’t wait to see it, myself, and I know quite a few others who can’t wait to get their hands on a copy.

  4. dvafoto - M. Scott Brauer and Matt Lutton › I Love New York

    […] Remarkable that these pictures are from this photographer, I think it speaks a lot to his soul. M Scott wrote about this book on dva a few months ago too). I also got to see Boogie’s two new books, Belgrade Belongs To Me and Sao Paolo. His […]

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