sandypenny, December 23, 2007 (view all comments by sandypenny)
As a writer, I am intrigued by Bert Katz's compelling dialogue with his subjects. His compassionate photos seem to capture the essence of the spirit of the people he shoots. I am fascinated by the beauty in the most desperate faces he shows. This is a coffee table book you'll want to browse, rebrowse, read and enjoy over and over. It's a character study but with an eye to the best in everyone. It does not allow us to separate ourselves from those in the midst of deep life crises.
by Jeff Stark, Salon.com,
"This extraordinary book matches portraits shot on the streets of San Francisco with short interviews. These are human stories and casual, sad pictures. Families, jobs, love, dreams: These are the things Katz's subjects talk about. It's the details that get me: blueberry stains, teardrop tattoos, apple schnapps, frozen waffles. Katz is a listener; his subjects speak of life."
"San Francisco is a city of enchanting, pixieish, benighted, dramatic, romantic, ambitious, laid-back, daring, cautious, free-thinking souls who together give the city a character unlike any other in the United States. In striking portraits and candid interviews Bert Katz captures all the variations of that character in a book that, once opened, cannot be closed until every word is read and every photo studied." Stuart H. Loory, University of Missouri, Lee Hills Chair in Free Press Studies, Journalist and author of CNN Reports: Seven Days that Shook the World
by Dan Briody has written for Rolling Stone, Red Herring, and Forbes,
"Bert Katz has captured the slippery soul of San Francisco. And When I Dream is an urban scrapbook, Ellis Island on paper."
"I was interviewing Federico Fellini when the great director stopped me cold: 'There are no grotesque faces in my pictures,' the Italian legend said. 'You Americans are conditioned by Hollywood into viewing only bland, inoffensive humanity as reality, when that isn't reality at all.' It took me many years and now Bert Katz' extraordinary And When I Dream: Faces in San Francisco, to appreciate Fellini's reprimand: Katz' jarring collection of vivid photographs and soulful stories masquerades as cocktail-table entertainment before it hits us between the eyes with the force of a commando raid. This is powerful material, with the photographs and biographies offering the texture of tough, compact but sometimes lyrical novellas." John Huddy, a former Miami Herald critic, has produced and directed film and TV projects for Fox, CBS News, NBC Entertainment, Tri-Star and Paramount.
by San Francisco Weekly,
"And When I Dream is peopled with immigrants, doctors, clowns, former dominatrixes, and boys and girls next door. Many of the images aren't technically remarkable, but what they lack in formal beauty they make up in content....the arresting color photographs of Dream are accompanied by poetic biographies, told in the models' own words....Katz goes beyond "type" to find out what makes each individual tick."
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