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Mark Holborn
PowerHouse Books, 2002 - Photography - 82 pages
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“Eric Payson has created a thoroughly terrific book—an eye view of a young girl’s softball team that is at once intimate and revealing about the twenty-five girls and at the same time evokes the grace, beauty, frustration, and elation of any athletic endeavor. It is a striking achievement to be treasured by anyone who appreciates brilliant photography and anyone who loves sports.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author ofWait Till Next Year

Bobcats, Eric Payson’s first monograph, is a touching and timeless ode to the game of softball as it is lived and played by the Bobcats, a team of teenage girls based in Tucson, Arizona. With extensive access to their daily routines both on and off the field, Payson has created an intimate portrait of the physical and emotional dramas the girls experience as athletes on the team. His photographs explore the dynamics of the group and the isolation of the individual. Whether the girls are being instructed by their coach, playing around during breaks, idling along the sidelines, or flexing their muscles,Bobcatsillustrates how the sport unites the girls in triumph—and in failure.

“We may never know whether the young girl is holding her head in her hands out of fatigue or dismay. We may never discover who the mustachioed man in sunglasses and wearing a cowboy hat is. Nor will we ever find out if the batter, over whose shoulder Payson took two shots, ever hit the softball hurling toward her. But then, it doesn’t matter. What matters are the ordered arrangements of fact that Payson assembles so well.”
—Robert A. Sobieszek

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Photographer Payson's first book is a collection of 59 full-page photographs (50 in color) of a girls' softball team, the Bobcats, that plays in Tucson. There are no captions; the only text is a ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Eric Payson is a photographer and performance artist. Solo exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted at Galerie Bodo Niemann, Berlin and Rene Fotouhl Fine Art. East Hampton, New York, Payson's trilogy of powerHouse Books include Ghostplay, Gladiators, and Bobcats (2005, 2004, and 2002, respectively). He lives in New York.

Sobieszek is a Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art.

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