The Art of Reading: A Photo Essay

Lawrence Schwartzwald. Lawrence Schwartzwald, $28 trade paper (78p) ISBN 978-1-941969-81-6
Photojournalist Schwartzwald celebrates urban bibliophiles in this slim collection of 60 candid black-and-white photos from recent years. Inspired by photographer André Kertész’s 1971 photo essay On Reading, the collection depicts readers—mainly New Yorkers—in various stages of reflection. Except for a lucky snap of the pop singer Amy Winehouse staring down at a magazine in New York City’s Meatpacking District in 2007, Schwartzwald’s subjects are anonymous people publicly projecting their affinity for books. Whether at a bus stop, on a subway platform, or on a graffiti-covered stoop on the Bowery, Schwartzwald’s oblivious subjects share an expression of deep thought. The most powerful images depict a reader amid and utterly oblivious to the chaotic and distinctly urban surrounding setting. As viewed through Schwartzwald’s lens, the core of reading for the city dweller seems to be the ability to lose oneself to the printed word. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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