While photographer Lisa Kereszi (born 1973) was researching for her previous book, Joe's Junk Yard, her father, Joe Jr., gave her a worn and tattered old photo album that he had compiled in the 1970s and 80s. Inside were 4 x 6-inch color photographs taken by Joe Jr. of biker babes in bars, at bike rallies and drag races, in various states of undress. As Kereszi says, "It's really a very odd group of images for a daughter to find--pics of biker babes showing off their tattoos, their boyfriends' bikes and hot rods, and, well, breasts." Kereszi appropriated the photographs, and re-cropped them for this volume. "The edit goes through various different types of pictures," she notes, "from the expected, posed shots, to the ‘money shots,' then on to some very interesting and beautiful images of women unawares."
Published by Damiani. Foreword by Larry Fink. Text by Ginger Strand.
Spanning 50 years and three generations, Joe’s Junk Yard is a personal narrative that explores the achievement and subsequent demise of the American Dream. Lisa Kereszi’s grandfather was a first-generation American and boxer-turned-junkman, who built an empire of used cars and scrap metal in Chester, Pennsylvania, during the 1950s boom era, which was gradually eroded by a series of misfortunes. Kereszi’s disquieting, tender photographs of the last decade of the junkyard, accompanied by business ephemera and family scrapbook photographs, tell the story of this family and its struggles with a changing economy, urban decline, family feuds, tragic and untimely deaths and the challenges of an independent business. In this photographic series, begun before she pursued formal studies in photography and continued during her years at Bard College and at Yale University, Kereszi repeatedly locates themes and motifs of impermanence and loss in the landscape of the junkyard.
When Rudolph Giuliani’s administration cracked down on Times Square strip clubs in the 1990s, a whole new burlesque movement was born in New York, concentrating less on the strip and more on the tease. The young New York photographer Lisa Kereszi, then an assistant to Nan Goldin, was there with her camera to catch it all happening. She began by shooting Show World, a club that was in the process of being closed down by the new laws. In her flash, Kereszi caught abandoned lockers, dressing rooms filled with old shoes and costumes and the grimy elegance of the empty theater--which was never meant to be seen by the light of day. Simultaneously, she began to photograph the new burlesque scene--which went underground in the late 1990s and has since evolved into a conceptually sophisticated, funny and rebellious medium. More pinup than porn, in just a few years, the new burlesque is no longer invisible, and has been gleefully appropriated into mainstream culture by way of Hollywood and the print media. A graduate of Yale University’s MFA program, Kereszi’s editorial work has appeared in books and magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Nest, Harper's, Wallpaper and GQ; she is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York.