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Art Kane by Jay Maisel & Graham Marsh


There are so many iconic images that Art did. I only mention one of them. It’s the one of the crumpled telegram and a black mother’s hand informing her of the death of her son. Almost everyone would have done a close up or a long shot of the women, her face, her tears. Art didn’t. Instead he forces you to read the telegram itself and as you slowly realize what it was about, it created the tragedy in your perception as it occurred to her as she had experienced it. Art had the ability to cut through all the cliché solutions and go to the crux of the matter in question. Anything extraneous was eliminated. What was left was Art’s wonderful sense of design and the resulting purity of the content. This image made me cry but Art was full of laughter and made me laugh till tears came. I think he could have done stand-up and I know he loved making people laugh. I think of him often and like all of us I miss him.

Jay Maisel, Photographer

While Modern Jazz and the Soul music that poured out of the Stax, Atlantic and Motown record labels provided the soundtrack to my formative years in the 1960s, many of the photographs taken by Art Kane provided a visual record of that period.
I still have a copy of the 1962 edition of Esquire’s World of Jazz. This book featured some outstanding photographs taken by Art Kane, including those of Louis Armstrong, the grave marker and sax case of Charlie Parker, an abstract of Lester Young and the legendary Harlem assemblage of jazz greats.
Also being a life-long Ivy suited London Modernist and Americaphile I appreciated the photographs of The Who, Bob Dylan, Cream and that amazing shot of the American flag that Mr.Kane captured on celluloid. These were just some of the varied subjects that Art Kane photographed throughout his career.
In 1991 I produced a book called The Cover Art of Blue Note Records, which featured the sleeve designs and some cover photos by Reid Miles. When Reid Miles left Blue Note he was encouraged by Art Kane to become a full-time photographer – that was the generous spirit of Art Kane.
Recently I was asked by Tony Nourmand, editorial director of Reel Art Press to design and art direct a book featuring the work of Art Kane. It was a privilege to lay out the peerless photographs that make up the canon of work from the outstanding Art Kane.

Graham Marsh, Art Director

Art Kane
Reel Art Press
Photography by Art Kane
by Jonathan Kane (Author), Holly Anderson (Author), Peter Doggett (Introduction), Michael Somoroff (Foreword)
320pp; Hardback w/slipcase;

200 colour & b/w photographs
304 x 245 mm / 12 x 10 in
ISBN: 978-1-909526-12-9

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