Christopher Griffith – States (sign.)
146 pages, 29 x 36.2 cm , 1980 g.
Christopher Griffith – States (sign.)
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Fresh fashion photographer Christopher Griffith had nothing less than a radical reinterpretation of American imagery—big machinery, high tech apparatuses, roadside detritus—in mind when he began assembling a crew to travel with him along the sideways and byways of a forgotten America to shoot—in stark, Avedon-esque fashion—the everyday, utilitarian things found dotting our contemporary landscape.

Searching out roadside ditches, abandoned gas stations, industrial parks, highway diner parking lots, small town fire houses, windblown prairies, and military air bases, Griffith and his team constructed huge backdrops around the forlorn subject, creating stark, decontextualized, and utterly magnificent renderings, in eye-popping detail, of things we see and forget without noticing. An airplane engine cowl. A beat-up pickup truck. An early model Lincoln. A larger-than-life earth mover. A squat fire plug. A sterling fire engine. A dusty traffic sign. A speeding locomotive. A colossal satellite dish. A baseball scoreboard, motel sign, rocket, oil refinery gas cylinder, basketball hoop, dock crane, bridge pylon cement mixer, dump truck, seesaw.

Repositing the famous Millerian dictum that “attention must be paid,” Griffith embarks on an ambitious journey to re—acquaint us with our disassociated objects of utility, still present in our lives by their sheer physicality, but devoid of any obvious narrative of a non-functional nature. Through his “objectness,” Griffith’s surprisingly sensual and tactile renderings establish a blood pulse in our appreciations of these things.

Winner of the American Art Directors Club Silver Award 2000 For a Complete Book Series
PublisherPowerHouse Books
CoverHardcover in decorative slipcase
NoteEdition of eighty. Sumptuous slipcased clothbound book accompanied by an eleven by eleven inch silver-gelatin photograph signed and numbered by the artist
ContributorsDouglas Coupland
Article IDart-16570


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