American photographer Dewey Nicks roared into the 1990’s magazine world by filling his shoots with fascinating people, boundless energy, and nonstop fun. His photographs celebrated the personalities in front of his camera with a unique appreciation of the California free spirit. Publications like VOGUE, HARPER’S BAZAAR, W, and VANITY FAIR kept Nicks moving seamlessly between celebrity, fashion, and advertising assignments. His portfolio became a who’s who of iconic women including Cindy Crawford, Natalie Portman, Sofia Coppola, Patricia Arquette, Shalom Harlow, and Cher to name a few. Nicks recently found a forgotten box buried deep in his archive with thousands of Polaroids from his 1990’s photo sessions. These one-of-a-kind favorites saved from hundreds of shoots, both private and assigned, offer an intimate portrait into Dewey’s life, friends, and work. In a real way, these Polaroids have more authenticity than what ultimately showed up on the published page. The immediacy and unaltered nature of Polaroids combined with the natural fading of the physical print after decades in a shoebox makes each of these images singularly unique and tangibly genuine. Nicks was so smitten with this time capsule of images that he immediately shared them with his frequent collaborator, book designer and publisher Tom Adler. The resulting volume contains just over 100 of their favorite Polaroids from the collection and features a forward by the renowned designer and preservationist Brad Dunning.
“In some ways these Polaroids have more authenticity than what ultimately ran in the ads or editorials,” Brad Dunning writes in Dewey Nicks: Polaroids of Women. “The subjects knew when Dewey was shooting ‘for real’ but in these Polaroids the women look more relaxed, not quite yet turning it completely ‘on’… They are like ice cubes these memories, these Polaroids—frozen in time moments on paper, fragile, melting, fading, on their way out. They can be gorgeous, especially at this stage of their disintegration, with the chemically imperfect edges and soft Outerbridge-like muted colors… The photos may fade but memory is more permanent than ink.”
Dewey Nicks – Polaroids of Women
Hardcover, 9 x 9 in. / 120 pgs / 63 color / 39 bw.
Published by T. Adler Books, Santa Barbara