Essay by Andrei Codrescu
Walker Evans photographed signs throughout every phase of his long and distinguished career. From the 1920s right up to the time of his death in 1975, Evans was obsessed with the signage he found in modern America―from billboards to gas station pumps to street graffiti to handmade announcements of a Saturday-night dance. This book features fifty photographs of signs from the J. Paul Getty Museum's collection of this master photographer's work, presented with a lively, provocative essay by Andrei Codrescu.
Codrescu focuses a perceptive eye on Evans's images. Here is a book that challenges as much as it delights, posing new thought-provoking questions about Evans and the America he photographed.
Some of the images included come from the era and place most closely associated with Evans, namely the rural South of the 1930s. But also included are photographs that will be less familiar to many of Evans's admirers, such as his images of New York City street scenes and advertising signs, or pictures he took in Havana and in Sarasota, Florida.
Andrei Codrescu is a poet, novelist, filmmaker, and National Public Radio commentator. He is the author of Hail, Babylon: In Search of the American City at the End of the Millennium.
"One of the most revealing things ever written about the artist."
"A little gem of a book."
—New York Times Book Review
"Warmly energetic prose."
—Los Angeles Times
"A wonderful, philosophical meditation."
—Ruth Seymour, KCRW
"A book of exuberant joy and memorable artistic accomplishment."
9 x 7 5/8 inches
50 duotone and 50 b/w illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum