Steve Schapiro: Then And Now

Steve Schapiro, Illustrator
Steve Schapiro, with an essay by Matthias Harder. Hatje Cantz (D.A.P., dist.), $70 (240p) ISBN 978-3-7757-3426-4
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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Spanning a 50-year period, from 1961 to 2011, this overview of American photographer Schapiro’s work reveals classic and candid celebrity moments, on and off film sets, as well as his photojournalism for Life, Vanity Fair, People, and Rolling Stone. Celebrity portraits contrast with images of unknowns, winding through famous lives, impoverished cities, and activist gatherings. Highlights include a series of photos of boxer Muhammad Ali and a heartfelt letter from Ali’s wife, Lonnie, thanking Schapiro for snapping a photo the moment she met her husband. Images of the civil rights movement culminate in a foldout black and white triptych of the motel in which Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This haunting spread shows the bathtub in which King was shot followed by an enlargement of the assassin’s handprint inverted to white from black (the original image was published in Life), and an interior shot of the motel room, including King’s open briefcase and an image of King on the room’s television. The original paneling featuring the black hand inside the motel bathroom has since been replaced, rendering the images that Schapiro took that day of immense historical importance, as the room was not preserved. 128 b&w, 46 color photos. (Dec.)
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