A 244 page fine art monograph, featuring Ethan Russell's photography, including his work with many musical legends including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who published for the first time in one beautifully printed volume. Preface by Ethan Russell. Introduction by Shannon Perich Photographic Curator for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and Foreword by Neal Preston, Photographer.
The Project: History Lived
As I've engaged in building this campaign, the reality of what it signifies has grown. This is something we do, something we build together. There's something special about that, and I commit to trying to keeping the communications open as we progress.
This is my legacy project. I am a late in life father with a 15-year-old son, and in many ways this is for him. It is my first and only fine art monograph.
The pace and order of the book is an expression of what my life experience has been as seen through my photographs. It is a journey through ordinary and extraordinary moments that is specific to my life, but in truth, it’s one of exploration, surprise, love, and even some history, that many of us witnessed and know its uniqueness. These things I want to share with you and connect through them to find a bit of shared experience for those who were there and to open that up for those who were not able to be there. The Introduction by Shannon Perich, Photographic Curator for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History speaks eloquently to this.
My goal is to raise sufficient funds to print 500 books, and to offer rewards and incentives to support that goal. This campaign is only committed to printing 500 books, something I've done to keep the initial funding request down.
Supporters of this campaign should note my insistence on top quality reproduction, even if that keeps the production costs up. It is important to focus on the distinctiveness of this book. It is a "fine art monograph" as opposed to simply a book, and that means (to me at least) that the quality of the reproduction plays an essential role. It will be top tier. The book weighs over 5.5 lbs (the Deluxe Edition weighs 8 lbs). The monograph's dimensions are 14 x 10.25 inches (28 inches wide when open) and it will be 244 pages. Because I am sensitive to supporters about the costs, please know the $95 price (at level 2) for just the book and a card is based just on the cost of printing and estimated shipping.
I hope this commitment to quality brings satisfaction to the people who have always liked my work – to be able to see it finally presented simply and beautifully printed.
I have worked hard to have the rewards and incentives seem appropriate for the level of donation. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
About the Journey
I was an accidental photographer. I was lucky. Of all my creative work it has been my photography which has brought the most joy to the most people. While I have labored intensively on books where the story was the focus, I never really let my photographic work simply stand on its own. Now, paging through the prototype of the book, I find I am touched by the photographs gathered together without distraction, flowing page after page with simply a caption (although sometimes a lengthy one) as if the photographs were finally allowed to speak for themselves.
This project has been iterating for many years. With the support and feedback of professional colleagues and kind friends, the layout of the book, the design and the essays have come together to bring us to the final stages of printing and publication. I hope you will participate in making this book a reality.
It is with these goals that I enter into this Kickstarter project.
I began my photographic career without formal training. Asked to explain how I had any capacity to work as a photographer at all, I recalled a mental image of myself when I was around 11 standing in an orchard at my parents' ranch. I was a hunter - mostly for blue jays – using a small, 22-caliber single-shot rifle. It was a solitary experience. I would wait quietly in the heat. There were only, maybe, ten trees, and they didn’t bear much fruit. But I would hide as best as I could, not moving a muscle, until a blue jay showed up. Then advancing slowly so I would not scare the bird, I would bring the gun to my shoulder, sight it, and carefully squeeze the trigger. Years later I identified this set of skills — an ability to scan a scene, to remain barely visible, to move quickly, focus, and then press a release steadily— as core skills for the kind of photographer I became, and at which I earned my living for years, a job I was never trained to do.
I got on a plane in 1967 from San Francisco to London in the height of British invasion fully expecting that when I emerged it would be into a mecca of music that would dwarf what was happening in San Francisco. This is not what I found. It was there, but it was barely visible in day to day London. But with "more luck than any human being should be allowed to have" (The Daily Beast) I was introduced to Mick Jagger, then John Lennon, then The Rolling Stones and then The Beatles. I took it from there.
When I think today about how my work might bring value, I believe this is the most significant: I didn’t change what was in front of the camera, and what was in front of the camera was monumental. I photographed what was true. I was in extraordinary places, and I shot photographs that let people just be there. The moment is not about the photographer, the moment is about what you share.
I believe that my intuition about the music and the artists, for whom I felt enormous respect and admiration, comes through. There is also an intimacy in much of the work that results from my invisibility, which grew from the considerable time I spent with them and the trust that came from that. My photographs reveal, in a phrase I sometimes use, real moments with extraordinary people. Those are what I would like to share with you.
There will be two versions of the book the Regular Edition (expected price: $95) and the Deluxe Limited Edition (expected price: $450.) All copies given to backers of this Kickstarter project will be from the First Edition printing of the book, which I will oversee.
Note: there will be an additional publication starting at level 4: a separately bound (and shipped) approximately 45 page book "The Inside Story." This will provide even more background on the images in the book, where they were taken, the circumstances, technical information (camera, lens, film, lighting rig, etc.) This is not expected to be available with the commercial version of the book.
Please also note: Those interested should take advantage of this Special First Printing of the Deluxe Edition because it’s likely that after the Kickstarter campaign is over the Deluxe Edition of the book may not be available, or, if available, may be more expensive.
Just added (3/24/19) as a thank-you to all who have already pledged and for all who pledge going forward at any level that includes a book (Regular or Deluxe) a signed and personalized printed triptych of me shooting The Beatles, The Rolling Stones & The Who, That is a calling card of my work as a photographer and it occurred to me that it would be nice for those helping make this campaign happen to have a personal thank-you. See below.
THE REGULAR EDITION
THE DELUXE LIMITED EDITION
All levels: 5X7 CARD THANK YOU CARD
All backers pledging $25 or more will receive a hand signed "Thank-you card" which will show four images: John Lennon Listening to the White Album, Keith Richards "Patience Please," The Who "Who's Next," and Mick Jagger "Lips."
Level 3: SIGNED LITHOGRAPHS 16x22"
Two choices for the posters are shown below. They will be printed on heavy, fine art paper and will certainly be framable, but they are not nearly as archival as Fine Art prints offered at higher levels.
Level 4 and up: THE INSIDE STORY
"The Inside Story," is a separately bound (and shipped) estimated 45 page book, which will give even more background about the images in the book, where they were taken, the circumstances, technical information (camera, lens, film, lighting rig, etc.)
Level 4 and up: BOX OF CARDS WITH ENVELOPES. (While supplies last)
Level 5 and up: DONORS NAME
Donors who contribute at level 5 and up will have there names printed as a special appendix, with thanks, at the back of the book. If a donor requests that their name not be printed, it will be omitted.
Level 5 and 6: DELUXE EDITION 8x10 print choices
Six signed, archival individually printed choices below from which to select one (or two, depending on level) for inclusion with DELUXE EDITION and Clamshell
The prints above and all signed archival prints in this campaign, regardless of size, are museum quality. They are the exact quality as those sold from my website, the galleries that carry my work or the museums that collect my work. The limited edition prints will be numbered taken from my official editions. They are substantially reduced in price in the context of this campaign, which is why each image offered is listed separately, and the number available for sale is limited.
Level 7: $800 or more. TWO 11x14 SIGNED, LIMITED EDITION FINE ART PRINTS. Choose from three below.
Level 8: $1100 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, LIMITED EDITION ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT Choose from one of the two below. (Reward limit 15 of each).
New Level 8B: $1,150 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT " JIMI HENDRIX AND MICK TAYLOR BACKSTAGE AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN 1969" or JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO WITH CAT ENGLAND 1968." Limit 4
Level 9: $1200 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT "MICK JAGGER 'LIPS' 1972. Limit 4.
Level 10: $1,400 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT "WHO'S NEXT, ENGLAND 1971." Limit 4.
Level 11: $1600 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT "JOHN LENNON LISTENING TO THE WHITE ALBUM LONDON 1968" Limit 4
New level 11B $1,625 or more 16X20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT of "KEITH RICHARDS WITH JACK AND COORS 1972" (Limit 4)
Level 12: $1900 or more. 16x20 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT "KEITH RICHARDS PATIENCE PLEASE 1972" Limit 4
Level 13: $ 3000 or more. ONE 16X20 AND 0NE 20x24 LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT (Total two prints) "MICK JAGGER, KEITH RICHARDS "DRINK" 1972" and "Eric Clapton, JohnLennon, MitchMitchell, Keith Richards - "The Dirty Mac." From the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus 1968. Pledgor can choose which print they wish as 20x24 and which at 16x20, (Limit 4)
Level 13B: $4,000 or more. 24X35 SIGNED LIMITED EDITION ARCHIVAL FINE ART PRINT. CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THE FIVE BELOW. IN ADDITION, A SIGNED 8X10 PRINT OF YOUR CHOOSING FROM ANYTHING OFFERED IN THIS CAMPAIGN. (Limit 5. It could be all one print or various but if 5 24x35 prints are taken then the reward is fulfilled).
Note: 24x35 is a European size that I think bears calling out. I love it because when framed with a reasonable matte it is a wonderful display size, not so big that it overtakes everything, but big enough to really be impressive.
Keith Richards "Purple" was chosen as one of the few actual prints on display in the Rolling Stones "Exhibitionism" (I was told.) Most of the images in the display were digital. It was in the "Fashion" section.
"We have scoured hundreds of images of Jerry Lee and think that yours is by far the most riveting and gorgeous and unique...I can’t get over this photo--it is sort of haunting and cool and odd, like a David Lynch movie...It is one of the snazziest, hottest, most beguiling music portraits ever.” OXFORD AMERICAN MAGAZINE
Level 16: $8,500 30x40 Platinum print of "John Lennon Listening to the White Album 1968." I think this image in this form – 30X40 Platinum print - is the nicest thing that I sell. The simple, physical beauty of the object – handmade, on beautiful art paper – is (to me at least) so much more than just a beautiful photograph. It is much more like a painting in its physical feel.
Platinum prints, for those that don't know, have the most dynamic range, are the most archival photographic process. The paper is a kind of fiber paper and the emulsion is hand painted on it before the image is exposed. The print is made by master printer and photographer Chris McCaw whose work is collected by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and over 25 others. The print currently sells for $11,000 so this price is a significant discount. The print's edition is limited to 35. Edition numbers 1 through 24 are sold, and the two edition numbers reserved for this campaign are 25/35 and 26/35, (Limit 2)
Level 16: $8,500 30x40 Platinum print of "Keith Richards 'Patience Please,' 1972."
As I said above, the 30X40 Platinum print is the nicest thing that I sell. The simple, physical beauty of the object – handmade, on beautiful art paper – is (to me at least) so much more than just a beautiful photograph. It is much more like a painting in its physical feel. As an object it stands apart as a thing of particular beauty.
Platinum prints, for those that don't know, have the most dynamic range, are the most archival. The paper is a kind of fiber paper and the emulsion is hand painted on it before the image is exposed. The print is made by master printer photographer Chris McCaw whose work is collected by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and over 25 others. The print currently sells for $11,000 so this price is a significant discount. (Limit 3)
Level 17: $10,000 Best Seat in the House (Limit 2)
In 2012, I performed the first theatrical presentation of Ethan Russell: The Best Seat in the House, a two hour evening of stories with over 450 photographs in Edmonton Canada. Since then I have performed throughout Canada and the United States for audiences from 500-1,000. I had the idea to offer one presentation to a contributor at this, the top level that Kickstarter supports (but below the normal cost of the show) to a supporter who could then determine where they would like me to present. It is possible it could be in a private home or in an office environment. The details of the evening would need to be worked out, of course.
Typically, after the show, there is a Q&A of approximately thirty minutes.
ARTISTS, PLACES & EVENTS INCLUDED IN BOOK (listed individually and as bands, in order of appearance)
- Harbour Island, Bahamas
- Pebble Beach California
- Barbara Migdal
- Oakland, California
- Blue Cheer San Francisco
- London, UK
- Hyde Park, UK
- Mick Jagger
- Yoko Ono
- John Lennon
- Benny Goodman
- Frank Zappa
- Grace Slick
- Stevie Winwood
- Leopold Stakowski
- Charlie Watts
- Keith Richards
- The Rolling Stones
- Brian Jones
- Jean Luc Godard
- Jim Morrison
- The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
- Janis Joplin
- The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
- Dirty Mac - Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Keith Richards & Mitch Mitchell
- The Beatles - Let It Be
- Paul McCartney
- Ringo Starr
- George Harrison
- The Beatles On the Roof
- The Rolling Stones 1969 tour
- BB King
- Chuck Berry
- The Who - Who's Next
- The Rolling Stones 1972 Tour
- Annie Leibovitz
- Robert Frank
- Terry Southern
- Pete Townshend
- Roger Daltrey
- Carlos Santana
- Rita Coolidge
- James Taylor
- The Eagles
- The Who - Quadrophenia
- Glyn Johns
- Boz Scaggs
- Jerry Lee Lewis
- Linda Ronstadt
- John Hiatt
- Phil Everly
- Gene Roddenberry
- Debbie Boone
- Rickie Lee Jones
- Chris Cornell
- Rosanne Cash
- Dave Mason
* Please note: once the Kickstarter project is complete, we will be contacting you to confirm your choices, when applicable, so stay tuned.
Risks and challenges
While there are always risks and challenges, Ethan Russell has a fifty plus year track record as a creative professional in media and production.
He also has a close existing relationship with the Burnett Print Group, LLC and Iocolor, LLP, which will supervise the print production and color management of the book. The professionals at each company have been the business of printing fine art and photography books for over 40 years.
Together they produced the Rolling Stones Limited Edition Book LET IT BLEED (“The best Stones book ever”), along with The Art of Tim Burton, The Napkin Art of Tim Burton and photography books for Craig Semetko and Sebastian Spader.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)