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PUBLISHER
Damiani

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 6.5 x 9.5 in. / 144 pgs / 75 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2022 p. 101   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9788862087612 TRADE
List Price: $50.00 CDN $68.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

TERRITORY
NA LA

THE FALL 2023 ARTBOOK | D.A.P. CATALOG

Artbook | D.A.P. Catalog Cover Link
Preview our Fall 2023 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.
  

DAMIANI

I Am Sparkling: N.V. Parekh and His Portrait Studio Clients

Mombasa, Kenya, 1940–1980

By Isolde Brielmaier. Preface by Wangechi Mutu.

I Am Sparkling: N.V. Parekh and His Portrait Studio Clients

A previously unseen trove of Kenyan studio portraits, expressing a photographer’s vision and a city’s lively identity

When the Kenyan-born photographer N.V. Parekh opened his Mombasa portrait studio in 1942, the city was galvanized. People came to visit Parekh from all over East Africa to mark important events such as weddings, reunions, graduations and birthdays. By the 1960s, Mombasans of all ages and backgrounds were visiting the studio by themselves, or with their friends, spouses or lovers, to stage playful, even daring portraits that enabled them to express and reveal themselves uniquely. Depending on his client’s wishes, Parekh worked to create portraits that ranged in tone from formal and elegant to hip or sensual, strongly influencing a vibrant visual culture in Mombasa.
I Am Sparkling is the first ever overview of this historically significant photographer, his clientele and the temporal, geographical and cultural milieu in which he flourished. Rarely accessed until now, Parekh’s personal archive went out of circulation following his retirement to Britain in the late 1980s; it was acquired by the Italian poet and artist Sarenco in 2001. This volume draws on this photographic archive along with extensive interviews with Parekh’s diverse clientele, and is complemented by NYU professor Isolde Brielmaier's rich historical context and analysis with a particular focus on women as clients of studio photographers. The artist Wangechi Mutu contributes a preface.
N.V. Parekh (1923–2007) emigrated with his family from India to Mombasa, where he trained with local photographers in the 1930s before founding his own portrait studio in 1942.


Featured image is reproduced from 'I Am Sparkling: N.V. Parekh and His Portrait Studio Clients'.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

New Yorker

M.Z. Adnan

Parekh saw his clients as they wanted to be seen. With them, he imagined new worlds and identities...There is power in this collaboration between sitter and photographer, and unadulterated joy, too.

Brooklyn Rail

Noa Wynn

Offers a counter-narrative to engaging with African photographic archives as well as photographic histories at large.

Blind

Sara Rosen

The element of performance is integral to photographer N.V. Parekh’s work, as sitters were free to imagine their identities beyond the traditional markers of class, religion, status, gender, and ethnicity.

Hyperallergic

Mallory Cohen

I Am Sparkling is remarkable for its extensive interviews with Parekh and his family, but also for Brielmaier’s deep research.

Aperture

Brian Wallis

Her fieldwork approach, common in other areas of the humanities but rare in the history of photography, yields extraordinary insights.

I Am Sparkling: N.V. Parekh and His Portrait Studio Clients

in stock  $50.00


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 9/27/2022

NYU CBVC presents Isolde Brielmaier in conversation with Aruna D’Souza on 'I Am Sparkling'

Isolde Brielmaier in conversation with Aruna D’Souza on 'I Am Sparkling'

Tuesday, September 27, from 6–7 PM EST, NYU Center for Black Visual Culture presents a virtual discussion between Isolde Brielmaier—author of I Am Sparkling: N.V. Parekh and His Portrait Studio Clients, Mombasa, Kenya, 1940–1980—and Aruna D'Souza, noted writer on art, culture, food, feminism, race and diaspora. Brielmaier and D'Souza will explore the nuanced ways Parekh’s portrait studio reflected Mombasa’s identity; how his studio provided solace amid Kenya’s state of emergency and political party bans; how he used styling and the camera to reflect the cultural milieu of Mombasa at the time; and more. The conversation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Please register here.
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