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Damiani : Joel Meyerowitz : The Pleasure of Seeing


Joel Meyerowitz’s first biography The Pleasure of Seeing is published by Damiani.

Joel Meyerowitz is one of the pioneers of colour photography, as well as an essential reference figure for street photography, large-format photography, and portraits. The Pleasure of Seeing: Conversations with Joel Meyerowitz on sixty years in the life of photography is his first biography, and the book offers a look behind the scenes of the life and career of one of America’s photographic living legends.

In conversation with historian and photographer Lorenzo Braca – in person and then online during lockdown – Meyerowitz speaks vividly about his beginnings, studying art history, meeting Robert Frank, photographing on the streets of New York City with Tony Ray-Jones and Garry Winogrand, travelling extensively across America and Europe, learning from John Szarkowski, director of photography at MoMA, working on numerous exhibitions and publications, photographing at Ground Zero in 2001 and 2002, and about the most recent still life and self-portrait projects.

A talented raconteur, Joel is engaging, articulate and skilled at explaining his methods. His animated discussion is rich with visual references. Just as with his photography, he avoids cliché, the verbose expression and prefers to establish an intimate and playful connection with his interlocutor… for the first time, this book provided the opportunity to gather together the core elements of his perspective on photography, as well as share some of his insights, some of the personal stories from his seemingly endless store, and the content to some of the most well-known photographs he has produced.” Lorenzo Braca

The Pleasure of Seeing contains nearly 150 pictures, including Joel’s most iconic photographs as well as new and previously unpublished material.


The Authors

Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938) began photographing in colour in 1962 and was an early advocate of its use of during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of colour photography as serious art. In 1962, inspired by seeing Robert Frank at work, Meyerowitz quit his job as an art director at an advertising agency and took to the streets of New York City with a 35mm camera and ‘color’ film. Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge, and Diane Arbus were photographing there at the same time. The fleeting moments of street life in New York City and other American cities that Meyerowitz has captured are some of the earliest and best-known examples of colour street photography. Many of his photographs are icons of modern photography, and made Meyerowitz, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, one of the most influential modern photographers and representatives of the “New Color Photography” of the 1960s and 70s. Meyerowitz photographed the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and was the only photographer allowed unrestricted access to Ground Zero immediately following the attack. This resulted in his book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and many other museums worldwide. His work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world. Joel Meyerowitz is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York. Other titles by Joel Meyerowitz published by Damiani: Morandi’s Objects (2015), Cézanne’s Objects (2017), Wild Flowers (2021), and Redheads (2022).

Lorenzo Braca (born 1977) is an Italian historian and photographer who has published widely on the literature, the mentality, and the imagination of the late Middle Ages. He is currently working for the Catholic University of Milan. As a photographer, his work is oriented towards the urban environment, its evolution, and the overlooked signs of human presence. Braca had his first solo exhibition in 2021.

Published by Damiani euro 59 £55

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