Fathers and Sons: Photographs

Steven H. Begleiter, Author Abbeville Press $9.98 (180p) ISBN 978-0-89659-968-0
``I was the son of an invisible father,'' writes Begleiter, whose photographs have appeared in Esquire and other magazines. ``Maybe I started taking portraits of fathers and sons to find some of the answers never received from a man I would like to have known better.'' But these 80 photographs accompanied by statements from fathers, well- and less well-known (e.g., Henry Anatole Grunwald, corporate executive Dave Shewmon) and a few sons on the meaning of fatherhood, do little more than repeat reassuring cliches about paternity. All hugs and smiles, men remark, ``I will always cherish and love my children'' and, ``It is as if fatherhood made me a complete person.'' Only rarely is an unconventional observation made: ``In my own experience, the sight of one's newborn son does not confirm one's identity at all,'' reflects one father. Ranging from cuddly to macho poses (John Irving and son are depicted in a hammerlock wrestling position)--except for painter Larry Rivers, who cuts a characteristically pixieish figure--the photographs are routine, and almost all subjects, curiously, skirt the central question of what, if anything, fathers and sons offer one another that other relationships do not. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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