A Short Work About Magic

I recently completed a small edition artist book, In Pursuit of Magic.

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I’ve made a number of small, handmade or self-published artist books over the years, but this is the first time I’ve used an online printer, Artifact Uprising.

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There are 30 photographs in the book (44 pages), but it is really all one thing.  I think of it as a little poem of sorts, told with pictures and one song on a CD packaged in the back of the book.

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The book begins and ends in the same way, with three photographs of the sun and the sky I made through the windshield of my car (at 70 miles an hour, on route to give a lecture in Cleveland).  In the first of these three pictures, you can see a subtle reflection of my camera lens on the windshield.  This is important, I think, as much of what this piece is about is making art, about wanting to see.

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The title comes from a stenciled graffiti tag found around the art district in Chelsea, New York, In Pursuit of Magic.

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The magic, at least as I’ve attempt to evoke in the book, is art, and also love.  Or even more specifically, the overlapping of the two.

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At the end of the book, after the last three pictures of the sky, I’ve mounted an audio CD.

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For the most part, the pictures were made in a few days, while I was visiting Cleveland to give a lecture on my work before The Friends of Photography, a social group developed by the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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It’s a small book, just 6X9 inches.  Mounted on the inside of the back cover is the audio CD, with just one Lou Reed song from the third Velvet Underground record – the song Some Kinda Love.  This gives a nice little punctuation to the theme of the book – the pursuit of magic, the pursuit of art and love, the two places we most find the kind of freedom we all want.

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