In 1969, Will Vogt was given a Nikkormat for his seventeenth birthday and he’s been photographing his social circle ever since. His images of family and friends, mainly shot in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, his family’s ranch in South Texas, and other places he frequents at home and abroad provide a raw snapshot of the American upper class at play. It is a view of American prosperity that celebrates and critiques the inevitable decadence privilege produces. And, if we strip away the villas, hunting lodges, private beaches and yachts, the formality of dress and the spoils of the hunt we see that Vogt has also created a strikingly honest portrait of a life well lived.
‘These Americans’ shows us a privileged and insular world, one which is usually glimpsed from the outside, and regularly caricatured in films and fiction.” —Jay McInerney
For the past 50 years Vogt has documented the day-to-day and recurring life events of his community. “His raw snapshot aesthetic is coupled with seemingly effortless tableaus that echo classical paintings and brat pack deep cuts.” These Americans features 134 images edited from Vogt’s archive of more than 70,000 by Jennifer Garza-Cuen and Jordan Baumgarten.
“I don’t know the people in these images, but I know this America, I know these Americans. It’s an America we all know. Mythologized or fictionalized, often vilified and glamorized, we’ve read about this America in novels and we’ve seen it in films and in magazines. But rarely if ever, laid bare in the way Will’s images do. Moving through them we feel the passage of time — the world changes and these Americans remain.” —Jennifer Garza-Cuen
Jay McInerney’s introduction to These Americans details the F. Scott Fitzgerald-like qualities of the book and its subjects, describing how the connection goes beyond romanticism and showcasing Vogt’s intimate knowledge of those he photographs. He notes that, “…there’s no pane of glass separating Vogt from his subjects. He’s right there in the ballroom, in the pool, on the boat, with his subjects.”
“I can’t help thinking that he is documenting the world of the descendants of those whom Fitzgerald wrote about. And he is clearly a member of this tribe, albeit a self-aware and observant one.” —Jay McInerney
Will Vogt : These Americans
Introduction by Jay McInerney Essay by Jennifer Garza-Cuen
Edit by Jennifer Garza-Cuen and Jordan Baumgarten
Design by Cara Buzzell, Providence, Rhode Island
Format: 21,59 x 19,05 cm.
240 pages with approx. 130 photos in full color
ISBN 978 90 5330 959 9
$50 | €50 | £45