Synopses & Reviews
In 1985 Ron Warren began collecting sock monkeys--those icons of American thrift and inventiveness that for generations have been hand-stitched from a pair of red-heel work socks. Years later he met photographer Arne Svenson, who, intrigued by the obsessive nature and growing size of the collection, began with equal obsession to document one by one its more than 1,800 examples. To convey the distinct personality imbued in each monkey by its maker, Svenson photographs them in the manner of classical black-and-white portraiture: flatteringly lit, cropped at the shoulders, eyes to the camera. The first 200 of these sock monkey portraits, reproduced larger than life as full-page duotones, are assembled in this book. Invited contributors, including novelists Jonathan Safran Foer, Neil Gaiman, and Dale Peck; entertainers Penn & Teller; and fashion commentators Simon Doonan and Isaac Mizrahi, have interjected short stories inspired by the subject of their favorite sock monkey photograph. The result is an engaging, humorous, and at times disturbing reanimation of creatures long relegated to the attic or the back of the closet.
Call Out: The dignified tone of the portraits perfectly emphasizes the distinct individuality of each piece and the resonance it has with its creator. -- Visionaire [Sock Monkeys] triggers sympathies that embarrass the hard-hearted and cause sentimental viewers to gush. -- The Los Angeles Times
Award-winning photographer Mark Nixon has created a trove of quirky and nostalgic portraits of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that have been lovingly abused after years of play. MuchLoved
collects 60 of these images along with their accompanying background tales. An exhibit in the photographerand#8217;s studio led to a small sensation on the Internet when a few of the pictures circulated unofficially on scores of blogs and on many legitimate news sites. Viewers have been intrigued by the funny, bittersweet images and their ironic juxtaposition of childhood innocence and aged, loving wear and tear.and#160; When you see these teddy bears and bunnies with missing noses and undone stuffing, you canand#8217;t help but think back to childhood and its earliest companions who asked for nothing and gave a lot back.
Praise for Much Loved:
and#147;Much Loved is impossibly endearing in its entirety.and#8221; and#151;Brain Pickings
About the Author
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Mark Nixon has twice been named Overseas Photographer of the Year (British Photographic Awards) and has also been named Irish Photographer of the Year (Irish Professional Photographers Association).