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Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel
Text by Charlotte Cotton, Connie Lewallen, Thomas Wagner, Carter Ratcliff, Jonathan Lethem.
The artistic collaboration between Larry Sultan (1946-2009) and Mike Mandel (born 1950) began in 1972, when they were both graduate students at the San Francisco Art Institute. Over the next 30 years, they created 20 photographic projects: two publications (including the landmark book Evidence); two exhibitions; the film, JPL; three public commissions; and 12 billboard series displayed on sites throughout California and the continental U.S. This collaboration enabled Sultan and Mandel to evolve a seemingly authorless style; most of their works adapted found imagery from archives or from popular media, neutralizing the intended commercial or documentary content by uncovering and emphasizing the inherent banality.
This substantial overview surveys Sultan and Mandel's 30 years of collaboration beginning with early billboard projects investigating themes of Californian culture and wealth, such as "Oranges on Fire" and "Cornucopia", based on a 1955 hand-tinted postcard of a model posing amid ripe oranges, and bearing the tagline: "California Gold Fills the Horn of Plenty To Overflowing." Their billboard projects continue with the tongue in cheek Ties and Whose News? in which the secondary title, "Whose News Abuses You?" is slyly imbedded in the image; and the duo's final billboard collaboration, Trouble Spots, a billboard project that used conflated and opposing ideologies in both fictitious and real locations.
Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel continues this extensive overview by chronicling their work with sourced images in the exhibitions Replaced (1975); Newsroom (1983); and the publications How to Read Music in One Evening (1974) and Evidence (1977). Five critical essays provide further insights on their collaboration.
Featured image, "Oranges on Fire, Billboard, Silk Screen Prints produced by Foster & Kleiser Outdoor Advertising, 10’ x 22’, San Francisco, CA," 1975, is reproduced from Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
This conceptual art duo has redefined the function of the photograph; their ironic outdoor billboards, public installations, and self-published works combine found imagery and social commentary.
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE BOOK"'Oranges on Fire' ran on the ten Bay Area, Santa Cruz and Syracuse NY billboards supplied by Foster and Kleiser from late August, through September in 1975. With a tape recorder, and posing as newsmen, the artists walked around the billboard locations and interviewed passers-by about the meaning that they made out of their billboards. Some thought it was religious (only god could hold burning oranges?), others thought it was the campaign for a movie or a band. The feedback reinforced their sense that they had reached exactly the space that they wanted to occupy. A spokesman for Foster and Kleiser was reported to say, 'There's a message in there, I guess, but we didn't learn what it was.'"
—Charlotte Cotton, excerpted from the chapter "Two Guys from Van Nuys," published in Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/27/2013
Join us through Sunday at the inaugural Paris Photo Los Angeles. On view at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood, Paris Photo is drawing collectors and exhibitors from around the world. Housed inside the Café storefront on Paramount's New York City backlot, our booth (C4) features hundreds of titles from the world's top photobook publishers—including Hatje Cantz, MoMA, Radius Books, Daylight, Editions Xavier Barral, RM, The Iceplant, Damiani, Yale University Press, Twin Palms, Morel, Patrick Frey, Nazraeli Press and Fraenkel Gallery. Our booth features a large selection of limited editions, rare, signed, and out-of-print titles, and we are hosting book signings daily. For a complete list of signings, please see the ARTBOOK + Paris Photo page on our site. Featured image—of Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan's "Oranges on Fire" silkscreen print billboard project, produced by Foster & Kleiser Outdoor Advertising, San Francisco, in 1975—is reproduced from Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel, published by D.A.P. continue to blog
USD $55.00 | CAN $75
Pub Date: 11/30/2021
Active | In stock
USD $45.00 | CAN $60 UK £ 40
Pub Date: 4/30/2010
Active | In stock