The last day of summer: photographs

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Aperture, 1991 - Photography - 95 pages
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The photographs of Jock Sturges are the record of people he cherishes: mothers and daughters, friends, children. Before his 8 x 10 camera, they show their relationship not only to one another, but also of the inner self to the world. Magical in their detail, these images are a collaboration of trust and admiration between artist and subject. Jayne Anne Phillips's compelling prose both illuminates the photographs and explores the unending sensuality and complexity of the bond between mother and child.

Whether photographing on naturist beaches in the south of France, in the communes of northern California, or in the affluent, East Coast summer resort of Block Island, Jock Sturges is at home with his subjects. Many of them are families with whom he has deep ties and whom he photographs as they are, clothed or nude, revealing the iconography of family affection. Each summer Sturges returns to visit the friends whose uninhibited grace, warmth, and beauty he so lyrically captures. He is now making pictures of girls and boys whose parents he first photographed as children.

In 1990 the Federal Bureau of Investigation entered Jock Sturges's San Francisco studio and seized his work, implying violation of child pornography laws. Citizens, artists and the media responded with outrage. With The Last Day of Summer, Aperture accords to Jock Sturges's humane and lovely visions the dignity and respect it so richly deserves.

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About the author (1991)

Jock Sturges received a B.A. in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College in Vermont and an M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited widely in the United States as well as in France and Japan. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

Jayne Anne Phillips has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Guggenheim fellowship in 1987. She has published two books of short stories, Black Tickets (1979) and Fast Lanes (1987), and a novel, Machine Dreams (1984).

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