Portraits from Provincetown: Inside Joel Meyerowitz’s New Book
A new book from Joel Meyerowitz features portraits taken in 1980s Provincetown, many of which have not been published before.
Originally published in 1978, the book remains one of the Bronx-born image-makers’ most enduring publications. Over 40 years later, and Meyerowitz’s new book Provincetown, hones in on a small town on the northeasternmost tip of Cape Cod, featuring a series of portraits taken in the resort town. The portraits in Provincetown were taken in the early 1980s when he had been experimenting with a large-format camera and portraiture for a few years.
“In 1973, -4, -5, I was going through a big change in my work. I kept on demanding greater visual descriptions because I wanted to make very large-scale prints. Since I was a street photographer, large-format photography wasn’t in my vocabulary. I found a large scale eight-by-ten inch wooden camera and I decided to try it for a summer.”, Meyerowitz says over the phone from Tuscany, where he mostly lives now.
The beach town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, has long been defined by outsiders. A safe haven for the queer community and a getaway for artists, it is a place defined by openness and tolerance. Throughout the late 1970s and early ’80s, Joel Meyerowitz spent his summers there, roaming the seaside with an 8-by-10 camera, making exquisite, sharply observed portraits of families, couples, children, artists, and other denizens of the progressive community. A cast of characters appear and reappear from season to season against a picturesque backdrop of sea, sand, and sun. Provincetown collects one hundred portraits, most never before published, bringing viewers into an idyllic world of self-styled individualism.
About the Author
Joel Meyerowitz (born in New York, 1938) is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world.
He is a two-time Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of both National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities awards, and a recipient of the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis, and has published over thirty books, including the Aperture titles Legacy (2009), Cape Light (2015), and Seeing Things (2016). He lives in Italy.
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Aperture (September 24, 2019)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 11 inches
Weight: 3.4 pounds
Joel Meyerowitz started making spontaneous color photographs on the streets of New York in 1962 with friends such as Tony Ray-Jones and Garry Winogrand. He has since become known as one of the most important street photographers of his generation. Instrumental in changing attitudes towards color photography in the 1970s, he is known as a pioneer, an important innovator, and a highly influential teacher.