New Photo Book Focuses On Celeb Artifacts From Lincoln to Lennon
Ordinary objects are transformed into extraordinary ones when they’re owned (or even just touched) by celebrities. In a sense, everyday artifacts become iconic. A product of 10 years of work, photographer Henry Leutwyler sought to explore this gray area between the mundane and the iconic with his latest body of work, “Document.” Using our collective memory, his images reveal the unseen, humble, and intimate within iconic moments: the first moonwalk, an assassination, a historic concert.
An old, marked-up pair of shoes suddenly is of interest once you know Charlie Chaplin danced in them. From Janis Joplin’s guitar to Abraham Lincoln’s hat box and even the gun that killed John Lennon, Henry Leutwyler’s “Document” creates a unique record of history through a pinhole.
Leutwyler compiles an extensive series of images that showcase these famous items in a stoic manner—almost as if pulled from a police archive. It’s a style that’s equal parts still life, portraiture, and crime scene photography. By removing their iconic status, the objects exist in this odd déjà vu–like limbo where their significance isn’t fully revealed.
The photo series is available in a hardcover, clothbound book, featuring 123 of Leutwyler’s images, from Steidl. You can order a copy for $71 here. For those in the Northeast, “Document” will be exhibited at the Foley Gallery in Manhattan from November 3, 2016 to January 8, 2017. In advance of the exhibition’s opening, Leutwyler will sign copies of “Document” at Dashwood Books on Nov. 2. For more information on either event, click here.
For our readers in Europe, “Document” will travel to Switzerland after the show closes in the U.S. Leutwyler’s exhibition will be on display at the Fine Arts Museum in Le Locle from June 17–October 15, 2017.