A radiant panorama of the Everglades that's both a feast for the eyes and a prod to the conscience.

LIGHT FADING

REFLECTIONS ON THE IMPERILED EVERGLADES

The hidden—and perhaps doomed—beauty of an American Eden shines forth in this magnificent coffee-table collection of photographs.

Worried that the dominant perception of the Florida Everglades is of a flat, monotonous swamp, the author—a lawyer, photographer and amateur naturalist—sets out to reveal the area’s visual riches. Curzon succeeds marvelously by turning an artist's eye, aided by a superb photographic technique, on varied landscapes, flora and wildlife. He gives us stirring vistas: sunsets framed by blood-red storm clouds; expanses of mist-shrouded marsh and spindly pines, as delicately lined and shaded as a Chinese watercolor; lush groves of giant cypress trees that vault into the air like living cathedrals. But he also paints fascinating miniatures: a single dewdrop on a cypress needle, a tiny white crab spider lying in wait on a lavender petal, a close-up of a panther lewdly licking its chops. Curzon's spare text sketches in the region's ecology and natural history and decries the overdevelopment that increasingly deprives the Everglades of the water it needs (and thus threatens with extinction the habitats and creatures he photographs.) But the book's educational and polemical impulses never elbow aside its aesthetics. Curzon has an extraordinary ability to capture color and ambient light, from the subtly chiaroscuroed pink plumage of a roseate spoonbill to the molten-silver carapace of an alligator swimming in the sunshine to the bright, flat patches of primary pigments that make a coral snake look a bit like a Mondrian painting. Many of his images—the dusky vortexes of a coiled rattlesnake, the brilliant emerald eye staring from a cormorant’s lurid orange face—are as fascinating for their inventive compositions as for their documentary value. By giving us a visceral sense of the treasures that could be lost, each of these pictures is worth a thousand words and more of environmentalist pleading.

A radiant panorama of the Everglades that's both a feast for the eyes and a prod to the conscience.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2010

ISBN: 978-1931807289

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

STORIES

Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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A fascinating, major work that will spark endless debates.

WARHOL

An epic cradle-to-grave biography of the king of pop art from Gopnik (co-author: Warhol Women, 2019), who served as chief art critic for the Washington Post and the art and design critic for Newsweek.

With a hoarder’s zeal, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) collected objects he liked until shopping bags filled entire rooms of his New York town house. Rising to equal that, Gopnik’s dictionary-sized biography has more than 7,000 endnotes in its e-book edition and drew on some 100,000 documents, including datebooks, tax returns, and letters to lovers and dealers. With the cooperation of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the author serves up fresh details about almost every aspect of Warhol’s life in an immensely enjoyable book that blends snappy writing with careful exegeses of the artist’s influences and techniques. Warhol exploded into view in his mid-40s with his pop art paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans and silkscreens of Elvis and Marilyn. However, fame didn’t banish lifelong anxieties heightened by an assassination attempt that left him so fearful he bought bulletproof eyeglasses. After the pop successes, Gopnik writes, Warhol’s life was shaped by a consuming desire “to climb back onto that cutting edge,” which led him to make experimental films, launch Interview magazine, and promote the Velvet Underground. At the same time, Warhol yearned “for fine, old-fashioned love and coupledom,” a desire thwarted by his shyness and his awkward stance toward his sexuality—“almost but never quite out,” as Gopnik puts it. Although insightful in its interpretations of Warhol’s art, this biography is sure to make waves with its easily challenged claims that Warhol revealed himself early on “as a true rival of all the greats who had come before” and that he and Picasso may now occupy “the top peak of Parnassus, beside Michelangelo and Rembrandt and their fellow geniuses.” Any controversy will certainly befit a lodestar of 20th-century art who believed that “you weren’t doing much of anything as an artist if you weren’t questioning the most fundamental tenets of what art is and what artists can do.”

A fascinating, major work that will spark endless debates.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229839-3

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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