The cover is the first thing that strikes me, an abstract image that suggests wild night, a road streaked by snow. On the left side her name, Carolyn Marks Blackwood is printed with debossed letters, the inset black deeper than printing can provide. Next to the name is the title, The Story Series, set in paper white, the same font, not debossed. What’s going on here? Why one and not the other? What an interesting choice. The Story Series is a book that invites you to ask questions.
I fell in love with these pictures the moment I saw them. Moody, expressive, impressionistic images each paired with a sentence or two that invites you into a story. The story is up to you. Here’s a sample of the texts; “She stood outside for what seemed like hours. It was time to be brave and go inside.” – “The wind and snow slapped her face and froze her tears.” – “There it was. The round room, where she had watched the moon and the stars.” Paired with her images, made in the dark of night on the back roads of the rural Hudson River Valley you sense the tales of her imagination even though she has not shown them to you. You create her imagination in your mind.
The book was made on the occasion of a gallery show at Roberto Polo in Brussels. This January the show opened at Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles with large well-made prints on the walls and a few of the books available to let you take all the images home and imagine the stories in them. The book is large and well made with 67 images printed in muted tones and with grey space on the facing page so each picture stands alone. The clean minimal design and typography are by Thomas Soete and there are illuminating texts by Barbara Rose and Aruna D’Souza along with an interview of the artist by Rose. This is a beautiful book, a coherent idea, a desirable thing.
Andy Romanoff is a photographer and writer based in Los Angeles, USA.
Carolyn Marks Blackwood, The Story Series
January 13th through February 17th
Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Carolyn Marks Blackwood