Selected Reviews: A.D. Coleman Letter From New York


Photometro, Letter From New York, No. 38 by A.D. Coleman, 1/93

...previously unreviewed in this space, there's my current nominee in the "weird little book that'll turn out to be a classic category: Ken Schles's 1989 Invisible City (Twelvetrees Press). Published in an edition of 2000 copies, originally priced at $30 hardbound, it's already out of print and selling for at least twice as much. But you might luck into a copy somewhere; if so, snap it up. This is a strange, sweet, funky, gritty little ditty about urban life in the here and now. Its Iyricism, edginess, energy and melancholy recall the New York school of the '50s and early '60s Weegee, Ed Van der Elsken, Robert Frank, Dave Heath and especially William Klein, to whom it's a clear homage. Small, thin, and crammed full of pictures in tight layouts; some double-page spreads, some strange pairings, all bled to the edges and printed in ink-heavy gravure by a Japanese outfit that knows its stuff. The images are interspersed with apropos excerpts from Lewis Mumford, George Orwell, Borges, Kafka, Baudrillard. I've been looking at it for three and a half years and it hasn't worn out its welcome yet. This is small camera photography at its best, the real thing; keep your eye on that kid.