Self-Exposure is the autobiography of celebrated American art photographer Ralph Gibson. With his 80th birthday on the horizon in January 2019 and a career spanning over 50 years, Gibson is at a point of reflection in his life and work and decided to put pen to paper.
Writing in candid prose, Gibson takes the reader through his life and career from his earliest memories of growing up in California (the son of a Hollywood director, Gibson's childhood is touched by the old glamour of the silver screen: the likes of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth make appearances) to his time in the navy and his continuous love affair with photography.
Gibson's memories are filled with rich characters and period details. Often moving, the narratives of his at times troublesome childhood provide a rich background to the charismatic artist Gibson has become. Gibson covers a range of topics such as music, Catholicism, his wife, Mary Jane, and a long line of fellow artists and photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank. His ruminations on his life so far display a deep, thoughtful understanding and self-awareness that make this book a fascinating read in itself as well as an illuminating companion to his work.
What emerges is an insight into the mind of an incredible, highly decorated artist. Evocatively illustrated, Self-Exposure presents Gibson's life story alongside his photographic work. Designed and produced in close collaboration with Gibson, this large-format publication—as much a biography as it is an artist's book—is Gibson's most personal book to date.
Ralph Gibson was born in Los Angeles in 1939. In 1956 he enlisted in the navy, where he began studying photography. His work is widely exhibited and held in public collections around the world, such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He lives and works in New York.
This volume surveys the early days of Ralph Gibson’s career in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, from 1960 to 1970. Gibson’s San Francisco years (1960–63) saw the photographer testing out his sensual, meditative style, inspired by street photographers such as Robert Frank (whose assistant he would later become). Photographs from this phase include shots of pool halls and shop windows. By 1963, Gibson was eager to begin a career as a professional photographer, and he returned to Los Angeles to find work. He recalls, “I would show my portfolio to potential clients and would hear the same words over and over again: ‘This stuff belongs in museums, kid, it’s not commercial....’ Well, I guess they were right.” Gibson’s Los Angeles images (1963–66) include his Sunset Strip photographs, which led to the first of many monographs. It was also around this time that Gibson was commissioned to photograph the press conference for the Beatles’ Revolver album, and informal shots of the mop tops are included in this chapter. The third section of the book is devoted to Gibson’s early New York years (1967–70), with several nudes and street scenes.
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 8.5 x 12.75 in. / 112 pgs / 96 duotone.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 8/31/2012 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2012 p. 81
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9791090294059TRADE List Price: $49.95 CDN $60.00
Published by Damiani. Foreword by Paolo Cermasi. Text by Ralph Gibson.
With the intimacy that has become his trademark during a photographic practice covering more than 40 years, Ralph Gibson now captures Brazil in all its carnivalesque splendor. Here are the vibrant colors, both natural and manmade, of the tropics; the beating sun on the beaches and the beating drums of a joyous band; and, of course, the faces and figures of that country's famously exhibitionistic women. Gibson's photographs have often focused, with unusual sharpness, on a single geometric element (the corner of a room, for instance) or a single human gesture (the curve of a hand). Now his remarkable eye picks up on the neck of a guitar, framed against the white sands of the beach, a reminder of his exploration of the three dimensional within photography. The chiaroscuro of shadow and white linen evokes his previous black-and-white portraits. And a portrait of a man whose head is obscured by a soccer ball, a witty quote of Magritte, connects with Gibson's lifelong interest in Surrealism. The art, music and culture of Brazil is growing increasingly popular around the world, and those who want a master's look at this endlessly fascinating land will enjoy this collection of photographs, all of which are published for the first time here.