|Product Details |
W.W. Norton & Company
From Publishers Weekly
Rogovin's career as a documentary photographer began after he was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957. Shunned by his home city of Buffalo, N. Y., Rogovin's optometry business foundered. Since his political voice as a citizen "was essentially silenced," a now 93-year-old Rogovin notes in an interview at the end of the book, he "decided to speak through photographs," documenting what working and street life do to people and families over time-and the ways in which people's joyous resiliency and intelligence come through nevertheless. Full-page black-and-white shots of Buffalo's "forgotten ones" from 1957 through 1984 take up more than half this collection, but 18 quartets of the city's Lower West Side area residents (1972-2002) stand out: in this remarkable series, Rogovin documents his subjects over four decades, photographing each person or family again every 10 or so years. The resulting quartets, printed over two-page spreads, are enhanced by interviews conducted by noted radio journalists Isay and Miller; one quartet subject, Johnny Grant, reflects how Rogovin's work challenges the cult of celebrity; Rogovin himself notes, "My photographs are rather straightforward. I don't try any monkey business-don't tell them where to sit, what to do. The only thing I do ask them is that they should look at the camera." Published in conjunction with an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, this book shows nearly 50 years of that technique's amazing results.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Big Issue [London], Melissa Thompson, 18 August 2003
A remarkable collection, sensitively captured with as much familiarity and warmth as a family photo album.
This compelling book celebrates the career of Milton Rogovin, the ninety-three-year-old photographer whose sensitive portraits of working people have inspired generations. After his refusal to answer absurd questions before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee ruined his optometry business, Rogovin began a new life with a camera. In the early 1970s, documenting lives on the Lower West Side of Buffalo, New York, he gave dignity to resident African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, and poor whites. He has returned to photograph many of the same people in each of the following three decades. The remarkable results are in this book and in an exhibition at the New York Historical Society beginning in June, 2003. 135 duotone photographs.