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Bill Owens

Suburbia

 1.000,00 (Ex VAT)
Please note VAT will be waived if the shipping destination is outside of the EU.

28 x 27,5 x 3 (Box size)
25,5 x 25,5 (Print size)

This edition contains 2 photographs (“We Like To Play War” and “I Wanted Christina To Learn Some Responsibility For Cleaning Her Room, But It Didn’t Work.”) and 1 book.
Introduction of the book is written by David Halberstam.

Each print and book is signed and numbered by the artist.
2 Baryta prints
Edition of 40
2006

Bill Owens made these photographs, and many others, in various suburban communities in Northern California throughout the early 1970s. In 1973 they were compiled in the classic book, Suburbia. Photographs from the series have been exhibited in museums in Europe and North America and become the classic photographic description of the American suburban dream.

In an Art a Go Go interview, Owens explains that, “the photographs for Suburbia weren’t done by accident. I put together a shooting script of events that I wanted to photograph … Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Birthdays, et cetera. I got a small grant, and began taking photographs every Saturday for a year, so basically Suburbia was shot in 52 days.

In his renderings of neighborhoods without trees, wide thoroughfares without sidewalks and streets lined with identical houses, Owens’ photographs hint at things to come. But the segregated and largely anonymous world described by the authors of Suburban Nation is not equivalent to the daily life seen in Owens’ Suburbia. While Owens’ captions sometimes include expressions of frustration over perceived cultural shallowness, Owens’ photographs depict children at play and neighbors who speak to one another as friends. While imperfect, Owens’ photographs depict a community that is entirely unlike the sterile, alienating world described in Suburban Nation.

Although in many respects a devastating critique of early seventies middle-class suburban life, today, Owens’ Suburbia can be viewed through the prism of seventies nostalgia. The fashions seen in Owens’ photographs are the same fashions seen in ads directed to contemporary youth. Hair curlers may be “out,” but hip hugger, bell bottom jeans could not be more au courant.

– Cynthia Morrill, Ph.D., taken from the Fall 2000 Foto/Text.

Bill Owens’ photographs have shaped a generation of young artist, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. His influence is evident in a wide range of contemporary artists including filmmakers Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and Todd Solondz, writers A.M. Homes and Rick Moody, painters John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, and photographers Jenny Gage, Katy Grannan, and Malerie Marder. These artists, who all came of age in the 1990s, share a distanced fascination with 1970s style, fashion, and décor. Their interest in this subject matter comes not from direct experience, but from a vast reservoir of existing images and representations. For a generation of artists, Bill Owens’ photographs define the iconography of the 1970s. The Suburbia series has become part of our cultural lexicon.

– Gregory Crewdson, “Bill Owens: Leisure – A Particular Kind of Strangeness”, 2005.

 

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