“The vivid color photographs of J Henry Fair lead an uneasy double life as potent records of environmental pollution and as ersatz evocations of abstract painting...information and form work together, to devastating effect.”
Roberta Smith, The New York Times
The demand for prints exceeded our expectation. Because the Industrial Scars prints sold out, and since the first exhibit of my new series, the American Coastline opens in August, we decided to offer a sneak preview as a new reward.
Everything we buy has a hidden cost above and beyond the price we pay for it- from apples, to eggs, to electricity- whether it’s climate change, contaminated water, sullied air, lost habitat, or exploited people. Our economic system has been built on the exploitation of those public goods. I make pictures of those externalities, creating art that is simultaneously beautiful and frightening, to invite the viewer to consider those hidden costs.
My second book: Industrial Scars: Photographs of the Hidden Costs of Consumption, is a collection of pictures of the giant machines that produce the miracles we take for granted every day, and abstract-expressionist images of the “dirty details” that are left behind in the fulfillment of our wishes. It will be produced by Papadakis Publisher of London, a publisher of fine art and architecture books.
The pictures in this book are mostly aerial, which allows us to look over the ridges and fences that hide these nightmares. We have all dreamed of flying, with the power to see everything. These images exhibit that power: finally we can see what is being done to sell us our toilet paper and light our homes.
As an artist who feels strongly about the environment (that complex set of planetary systems that provide us with clean air, water and so much else), I want to make images that move people, instead of some boring picture of cut-down trees. So after taking my share of those boring pictures (and being arrested, having the film confiscated, etc.) I had the idea to hire a plane and zoom over it all. Of course there is more to the story: a lot of preparation, consulting experts in different industries, investment, and a little bit of “throwing dice with God”… And off I went.
My first book, The Day After Tomorrow: Images of Our Earth in Crisis followed a visual narrative from black and white images of rusty old machines to the captivating abstract images of waste.
This book will be a gorgeous combination of classic industrial production images, and the toxic detritus that produces such beautiful, mysterious abstractions. Accompanying text, written by experts from the various industries, explains the process depicted in each pictures and its hidden costs.
All the photos have been taken, but much production work remains. The team is assembled and working furiously to release the book at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2016. I am very pleased that Aldo Sampieri, a designer with whom I have wanted to work for many years, is designing the book.
The funds from this Kickstarter will go to pay the writers of the technical narratives and production staff who are in the process of scanning, raw file processing and doing the large amounts of research needed to explain these pictures.
If you like the project and would like to support this production, aside from my gratitude, you will be the first on your block to get the book, signed and delivered. And of course there are a variety of other rewards if you would like to increase your support, the most interesting being to join me in planning and shooting a project.
Risks and challenges
Publishing a book of this complexity involves coordination of many talents, but Papadakis is experienced in these matters and has a track record of producing critically acclaimed photography books of the highest quality. With the book successfully backed, we will ensure that it is published by October of 2016, in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair.
And I have successfully published a previous book, and am also experienced in the challenges of producing a book with many contributors. The production work is currently on schedule (pizza is on the way!), and we will keep you informed of the progress of the book.
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