In 1991, Aperture published Nick Waplington’s first book, Living Room, to great critical acclaim. A major exhibition followed at their 23rd Street gallery in New York, and for a number of years the exhibition toured the world. The exhibition prints were then put into storage, and soon thereafter Waplington – having moved on to new projects – asked his gallerist, Holly Solomon, to destroy them. In 2018, Solomon’s son Thomas contacted Waplington with surprising news: the original Living Room exhibition prints had not been destroyed, and were still in his possession. Little Big Man presents these historically significant vintage works, appearing in an exhibition for the first time since the early 1990s.
In reaction to — as Nick Waplington puts it — “the grainy, downtrodden. black-and-white interpretation of working-class life”one generally sees, Living Room offers lushly colored glimpses of the communal spirit, fired by the joys, mishaps, and adventures of family life.
Over the course of four years, Nick Waplington became intimately acquainted with two large, working-class families who were living in municipally subsidized “council estates’ in Nottingham, England. He spent countless hours becoming part of the boisterous chaos of their lives, photographing them with sympathetic spontaneity.
“The photographer’s triumph is to bring order out of chaos, without betraying the chaos. Waplington presents the violence in affection, the sexuality in innocence, a chill at the electric hearth, all in a new vocabulary, without romance, all in the same room at the same time.”– Richard Avedon
Nick Waplington : Living Room
April 13 – May 15, 2019
Little Big Man Gallery
1427 E. 4th Street
Los Angeles CA 90033