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The Last Day of Summerby Jock Sturges
Synopses & Reviews
The photographs of Jock Sturges are the record of people he cherishes: mothers and daughters, friends, children. Before his 8 x 10 camera, they show their relationship not only to one another, but also of the inner self to the world. Magical in their detail, these images are a collaboration of trust and admiration between artist and subject. Jayne Anne Phillips's compelling prose both illuminates the photographs and explores the unending sensuality and complexity of the bond between mother and child.
Whether photographing on naturist beaches in the south of France, in the communes of northern California, or in the affluent, East Coast summer resort of Block Island, Jock Sturges is at home with his subjects. Many of them are families with whom he has deep ties and whom he photographs as they are, clothed or nude, revealing the iconography of family affection. Each summer Sturges returns to visit the friends whose uninhibited grace, warmth, and beauty he so lyrically captures. He is now making pictures of girls and boys whose parents he first photographed as children.
In 1990 the Federal Bureau of Investigation entered Jock Sturges's San Francisco studio and seized his work, implying violation of child pornography laws. Citizens, artists, and the media responded with outrage. With The Last Day of Summer, Aperture accords to Jock Sturges's humane and lovely vision the dignity and respect it so richly deserves.
Book News Annotation:
J. Eddy Hoover writhes in his crypt. This is at least the fourth printing of Sturges' splendid collection of figure studies since the FBI raided his studio in 1991. (A federal grand jury slapped down the fascists.) We missed Last Day when it was published in 1991; when Aperture sent a copy of Radiant Identities, his second book, we realized our error. Predictably less ambitious, less polished than the later book, Last Day is yet a work of elegance. Poignant large format photos are reproduced in very fine duotone.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Photographs evoke the true nature of summer.
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