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Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homesby Kyle Cassidy
Synopses & Reviews
In Chicks with Guns, Lindsay McCrum has created a cultural portrait of women gun owners in America through photographs that are both beautiful and in a sense unexpected. The book examines issues of self-image and gender through the visual conventions of portraiture and fashion, but the guns are presented here not as superimposed props but as the very personal lifestyle accessories of the subjects portrayed. And it defies stereotypes often associated with aspects of the popular culture of both guns and women. Like the 15-20 million women gun owners in this country, the women we meet in Chicks with Guns ( their portraits are accompanied by their own words), reside in all regions of the country, come from all levels of society, and participate seriously in diverse shooting activities. The women here are sportswomen, hunters, and competition shooters. Some use guns on their jobs and some for self-defense. They may not all be classically beautiful, but in these photographs they all look beautiful, exuding honesty, confidence, poise, power and pride. They are real women with real guns that play a part in their lives. By focusing her camera respectfully on this particular aspect of the American scene, gun-wielding women and girls, Lindsay McCrum sheds new light on who we are in America today.and#160;
Praise for Chicks with Guns:
and#8220;Donand#8217;t be deceived by the frisky title: Lindsay McCrumand#8217;s Chicks with Guns is a deadly (sorry) serious work of cultural iconography. Itand#8217;s also visually stunning, alternately sexy, arresting, haunting and mesmerizing. In so many words, this book hits every bulland#8217;s-eyeand#8212;a real stunner.and#8221; and#8212; Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking and Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoirand#160;
and#8220;A work of art in photography, Chicks with Guns is an instant classic. Any who read the text and reflect on the stunning portraits will come away with a new appreciation of the not unusual or surprising love affair between women and their firearms.and#8221; and#8212;R. L. Wilson, firearms expert, author of Silk and Steel: Women at Arms
"Photographer Lindsay McCrum has turned her lens on women who pack heat--and her pictures make for a fascinating book. In Chicks with Gunsand#160;McCrum's subjects express their passion for firearms in their own words, but it's the photographs, which lend a hint of Gainsborough to heiresses and ranch girls alike, that convey how stylish, seductive, and fun the shooting life can be."and#160;- W Magazine
"McCrum's portrait project is full of contradictions and complexity, of ironies and sublime beauty. . . .The pairing of these stories with McCrum's photography makes this book absolutely seductive."--Publishers Weekly "I opened this sizeable hardcover to one of the 80 photographic plates, and started going through the glossy pages, at first only noticing the striking beauty of the full-page photographs and the women who were the subjects. I found myself wondering if they were just models holding guns as props, until I began to read the personal statements on each adjacent page. Written in the womenand#8217;s own words, it seemed to me that their stories read like something from the pages of Field and Stream, and I wanted to know more."--Field andand#160;Stream
"Chicks with Guns, a gorgeous new book by Lindsay McCrum, is a lot more cerebral than it sounds. Fine art photographer McCrum shot dozens of portraits of women with their firearms, accompanied by personal statements from each woman." and#8212;Houston Chronicle
"Lindsay McCrum's handsome new book of photographs, Chicks with Guns, [offers] painterly images that neither glorify nor vilify their subjects." --The New York Times
"McCrum's portraits of female hunters, cops, Olympic biathletes and collectors are unsettling, entertaining and strangely elegant. Perusing the images without reading the personal essays is akin to watching a Merchant Ivory film without the sound." -Los Angeles Times
Book News Annotation:
In the summer of 2006, photographer Cassidy traveled the US photographing gun owners in their homes. The subjects of the 100 full-page portraits are as varied in age and lifestyle as they are in their reasons for owning one or many guns--among them fun, competition, professional necessity, protection against criminals, protection against the government, nostalgia, investment, and "they make a nice lamp." Oversize:12x9.25". Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
As the 2004 Presidential Election was beginning to take shape, Kyle Cassidy took note of the important role the simple concept of gun ownership was playing. Hardly anyone he knew didn't have an opinion in the debate over owning guns. Why was a constitutionally protected right so heavily debated, and who exactly as these folks that own guns? I began to wonder who these seventy or so million Americans were, how they lived and what was important to them. I set out to photographs as many gun owners as I could and ask them one question: Why do you own a gun.
Cassidy traveled over 20,000 miles, crisscrossing the country to meet with gun owners in their homes. Cassidy's photo essays create a powerful, thought provoking and sometimes startling view of gun ownership in the U.S. These everyman portraits, and the accompanying views of gun owners, fashion a riveting and provocative hardcover book.
Few things generate as much debate as firearms, but behind this hotly debated topic are real people. Cassidy offers a powerful, provocative, and sometimes startling view of gun ownership in the U.S., providing portraits of people from different backgrounds who all share the common connection of owning a firearm.
About the Author
Lindsay McCrum is a fine art photographer residing in New York City and California. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her Masters of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Trained as a painter in oils, Ms. McCrum switched exclusively to portrait photography in 2003. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in the U.S. and Europe.
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