Justin Kimball’s Who By Fire considers contemporary American life as it relates to a complex history of economic, religious, and political environments. Kimball’s work wrestles with the complications of the current moment while trying to imagine the promise of a future that is unknown and tenuous. Unflinching photographs of people in neighborhoods, streets, and yards document moments where the burden of the present day visibly presses in upon bodies and physical surroundings, while also conveying the resilience and hope maintained under that weight. The people in these pictures are further contextualized by photographs that point to the visual markers of humanity in the landscape, either unintended or by design: a wall painting of a sun dial, a rising angel nailed to the side of a barn, a woman asleep on a blanket paired with a tree set on fire.
The book is published by Radius Book, the photography is by Justin Kimball and the text by Eileen Myles.
About the Authors
Justin Kimball was born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1961. He earned a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an M.F.A in Photography from the Yale University School of Art. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographers Fellowship, a Kittredge Educational Grant from Harvard University and the Project Development Grant from Center in Santa Fe NM, he is the author of the monographs Where We Find Ourselves, Center for American Places, Pieces of String and Elegy Radius Books.
His work can be found in over 40 museum collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), the National Gallery of Art, the George Eastman Museum, the SF MoMA and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Kimball’s images have been included in such publications as DoubleTake, Harper’s, PDN, Photo Metro, Photograph and Picture magazines.
Kimball has taught photography for more than twenty years and is currently a Professor of Art at Amherst College. He is represented by Carroll and Sons in Boston Massachusetts.
Eileen Myles (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently novelist, public talker, and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their twenty-two books include For Now, evolution, Afterglow, I Must Be Living Twice/new & selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. In 2019, they wrote and directed an 18-minute Super 8 film, The Trip, a puppet road film. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim, a Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize, and a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. In 2019, Myles received a poetry award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2020, they got the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.