Cover image for Once removed : portraits
Once removed : portraits
Priola, J. John.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Santa Fe, N.M. : Arena Editions ; New York : Distributed by D.A.P., 1998.
Physical Description:
127 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Personal Subject:
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR647.P75 O64 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Priola's evocotive photographs capture the paradise of everyday life with a reverence usually reserved for portraiture. A puff of smoke, bronzed baby shoes, a mended dish-towel -- such seemingly ordinary things take on monumental presence before Priola's lens. The ephemeral, the disparate, the opaque, and the invisible currents which flow beneath the surface of what's seen, are what preoccupies these impeccably crafted images. Priola, whose work is represented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and elsewhere, is an artist ultimately concerned with capturing the signature of time.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Malanga, one of Andy Warhol's collaborators, has produced a book of interest largely to those who followed the post-bohemian scene of the 1970s. These well-reproduced portraits were taken mostly in New York, although some were made in Europe and England. Mercifully, time has sifted the important from the highly forgettable, and perhaps that is the most powerful message of this book. The most interesting pictures here are not those of passing fads (Iggy Pop, Candy Darling, Alice Cooper) but rather of enduring talents (a young Sam Shepard, Lotte Lenya, Galway Kinnell, Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper). Malanga, finding himself amidst both great and lesser minds, took pictures of both without prejudice, resulting in this somewhat gritty minidocumentary of a single decade. Priola examines the effects of time more intentionally. Exquisite photographs of ordinary things, most of them against black backgrounds and many printed in circular format, evoke the passing of time, fragments of memory, and the highly ephemeral nature of visual experience. These rich images‘which Priola calls "portraits"‘are organized into three thematically and stylistically distinct sections: "Paradise," evocative objects that remind us of the passions of lives filled with optimism (a wishbone, a dead potted plant); "Saved," worn objects that suggest vanished lives and families (a mended dishtowel, broken figurines); and "Residual," things with brief lifespans, allowing just enough time to make a photograph (the traces of ivy's grip on a wall, smoke from an extinguished candle). Without Priola's dramatic composition and lighting, these would evoke little more than kitsch. In his excellent essay, Grundberg discusses the nature of photography and uses Priola's images to attest to the things only photography can do. Malanga's book belongs in a collection of works on popular culture; Priola's has a place in photography collections.‘Kathleen Collins, Bank of America Archives, San Francisco (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.