PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEYS | COLLECTIONS | MOVEMENTS | EXHIBITIONS

PUBLISHER
Max Ström

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.25 x 12 in. / 215 pgs / 64 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2015 p. 50   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9789171263292 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $70.00

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In stock

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MAX STRöM

Studio 54

Photographs and text by Hasse Persson.

Featured image is reproduced from <I>Studio 54</I>.In 1977, at the height of the disco craze, a club opened at 254 West 54th Street in New York City. Studio 54 was—and, arguably, remains—the world's most renowned and legendary disco. Regularly attended by celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Michael Jackson, Calvin Klein, Elton John, John Travolta, Brooke Shields and Tina Turner, the club fostered an atmosphere of unadulterated hedonism for New York's art and fashion set. Hasse Persson and his camera were frequent club guests from 1977–80. The images he photographed there have become legendary, capturing the club's famed revelers, dancers in costume and general, drunken exhilaration—and yet, incredibly, Studio 54 marks the first time in history that they have seen publication. Almost 35 years after the club's unceremonious and sudden closure, this beautiful hardback volume superbly documents the zeitgeist.
Hasse Persson (born 1942) has had a long career as a photojournalist. Though Swedish born, he spent nearly a quarter century, from 1967 to 1990, working in New York. He has published five books on America and his photographs have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Time, Newsweek and Life. He worked as the artistic director of the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg and today he is the artistic director of Strandverket Konsthall in Marstrand, Sweden.

Featured image is reproduced from Studio 54.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Daily Mail

Mia De Graaf

It was a Pandora's Box of eccentricity and glamor.

Open for just 33 months from 1977 to 1981, Studio 54 remains the ultimate discotheque.

Only the beautiful, famous and socially-connected could be sure of entry.

The lucky partygoers that made it into the New York City establishment reveled among celebrities, blaring music, champagne, bubbles, costumes, art, theater - and occasionally animals.

Hundreds, however, never managed to pass the red velvet rope.

For those left out in the cold, award-winning photographer Tod Papageorge was there - and has now compiled the madness into a book.

Here is a taste of his spectacular insights.

GAYLETTER

Jeffrey From

His book is filled with energized black and white photographs, packed with scantily clad socialites and dazed celebs alike. The pictures whir with lights, masks, and glitter-smeared bodies stumbling down the avant-garde rabbit hole that was Studio 54.

Artinfo

Craig Hubert

And this is also where the best photographs take place. Persson, in his introduction, mentions that to “catch movement on the dance floor,” he developed a specific way of taking pictures, using a flash on his subjects while leaving the shutter open for 30 seconds. This technique creates a spotlight on his subjects, where faces tended to be in focus while the bodies around them are a blurred whirl. While Persson takes credit for the technique, it was certainly something that existed in street photography, even to a certain degree in paparazzi photographs of the period. But there’s no doubt that Persson’s club images, like wild action-paintings come to life, buzzing with exuberant energy, form a template for the kind of photographs that proliferate on the Internet. Take a look at any party photographer from the last four decades, and their images certainly bare the mark of Persson’s photographs, even if they don’t realize it.

The Guardian

Peter Conrad

In Persson’s jittery images, a fanged Dracula materialises on the dance floor at Halloween, along with Lady Godiva on a white horse. A figure swathed in bandages might have escaped from an emergency ward, or perhaps from an Egyptian sarcophagus. On the sidelines, deputising for photographic voyeur, hover Warhol with his tape recorder, and the glum, gnomic Truman Capote, concealing his inquisitorial gaze behind dark glasses.

Studio 54

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/15/2015

Studio 54

Studio 54

Featured photograph (of Warhol-era fashion designer Victor Hugo reclining on a stretcher on the dance floor of Studio 54 in 1978) is reproduced from Hasse Persson's engrossing new collection of black-and-white photographs of the notorious nightclub in its heyday. In his introduction, Persson writes, "The times and the prevalent drug culture sanctioned this hedonistic half-way-house between heaven and hell. Somebody smart said Studio 54 existed after the Pill, before AIDS and while cocaine was still seen as a pick-me-up. The drug reference today seems vapid but a lot of people had been reading Sigmund Freud's so-called cocaine-papers. In his book Über Coca, published in 1984, Freud was full of praise for cocaine's benefits, claiming it to be a far better drug than alcohol. And less harmful. When Freud also mentioned that patients who had been prescribed cocaine reported an increased sex drive, Studio 54 was easily convinced. 'Push, Push, in the Bush' as Mustique put it." continue to blog


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