PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Foggy Notion Books/Smart Art Press

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.25 x 12.25 in. / 112 pgs / 182 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 52   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781935202271 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $50.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

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FOGGY NOTION BOOKS/SMART ART PRESS

The Beautiful & The Damned

Punk Photographs by Ann Summa

Edited by Kristine McKenna. Foreword by Exene Cervenka.

The Beautiful & The DamnedWhen photographer Ann Summa arrived in Los Angeles in 1978, the city’s punk scene was still fresh, diverse, smart, utterly original—and fertile territory for a young photographer. The Beautiful & the Damned is a collection of her portraits of the musicians, artists and fans who made Los Angeles such a crucial part of the history of punk. Taken between 1978 and 1984, the images mostly revolve around L.A.’s first punk generation, and include portraits of the Germs, the Screamers, X, the Cramps and the Gun Club, among many others. From there, the book expands its scope to accommodate the cross-pollination that took place between L.A.’s punk scene and the fine art community, (at the time, the audience for avant-garde artists such as the Kipper Kids, Johanna Went and Laurie Anderson was primarily drawn from the underground music scene), and the two other cities—London and New York—that played a central role in the birthing of punk. Photographed during their first U.S. tours are U.K. groups the Clash, Magazine, the Fall, the Slits, Bow Wow Wow and the Pretenders, among others. Visiting dignitaries from New York include Television, James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Talking Heads. Also included are portraits of artists who served as an inspiration to L.A. punks—Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, among others—plus candid shots of unidentified audience members. Edited and with an introduction by Kristine McKenna, The Beautiful & The Damned includes 95 previously unpublished images.
Ann Summa studied photography in Japan. Her work has been regularly published for the past 30 years in publications including Artnews, Rolling Stone and The Los Angeles Times.

Featured image -- of the Slits at the Tropicana Motel in 1980 -- is from The Beautiful & the Damned, Ann Summa's book of photographs of the 1970s L.A. punk scene, reviewed in the September 9, 2010 Los Angeles Times, from which this quote is drawn: "'I saw people shooting up in the bathroom at the Whiskey and the Roxy. And then people started dying,' says Summa. 'I feel like that's still a part of music, but when you have a camera between you and a subject there's this distance.' And that distance is what gives the photos in The Beautiful and the Damned their eerie, resonant power. Looking at them is like peering through a looking glass into another time when music was made, however briefly, not for money or fame, but because of a deep need to be a part of something unique and autonomous. The beauty was in the belonging."

The Beautiful & The Damned

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
"Everyone knows that punk rock is rude. What’s less known is that during its first incarnation in Los Angeles, during the late 70s, it was ecstatically beautiful. At that point mainstream culture hadn’t yet detected the scent of money on this newly-born music, and punk hadn’t yet been hijacked by adolescent boys bent on transforming themselves into human cannonballs. Punk was an intimate affair then. Nobody was watching or judging that original band of outsiders, because there was no money to be made, and nothing much to be won or lost at all. There was no reason for those people not to cast off the rules that had governed their world up until that point. And so they cast off the old rules, and made themselves a new world that was entirely their own. And, for a brief, glorious period they operated in a zone of complete freedom.
The taste of freedom can be startling — you can see that in the faces of many of the people who appear in these pictures. They were surprised to find their tribe — surprised to discover they actually had a tribe. Surprised to learn they could be themselves and be embraced for it. Surprised to find they could create beauty, and live without the comforts of the middle-class homes they came from. What made all of this possible was the simple fact of community. Most L.A. punks of the late 70s were poor, many were high a lot of the time, and everyone was a little crazy. Nonetheless, they supported and shared with one another, and they saw the brilliance in each other."

Kristine McKenna, excerpted from The Beautiful & the Damned.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

ANN SUMMA | DATE 10/5/2010

Photographer Ann Summa Recollects the 70s Punk Scene in Los Angeles

The Beautiful & The Damned: Punk Photographs by Ann Summa

In 1977 my husband and I returned from four years in Japan and visited L.A. just to check out the city. We didn't know where we wanted to live, but while we were in town I showed my portfolio to a magazine and they said they'd give me work, so we decided to move here. We wound up in a crummy neighborhood in east Hollywood, and didn't like the city at all during our first few months here. continue to blog


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