Jimmy DeSana: Suburban, 2015
978-1597113410, Hardcover, 96 pages, 11.3 x 9.2 x 0.6 inches, published by Aperture/Salon 94, ISBN 978-1597113410
Jimmy DeSana, Elisabeth Sussman (Author), Dan Nadel (Editor), Laurie Simmons (Editor)
Jimmy DeSana: Suburban collects in print for the first time DeSana's surreally lyrical, sexually charged photographs from his series of the same name, made in the late 1970s through the 1980s. DeSana staged photos of nude subjects, male and female, in various strange, evocative poses, entwined with everyday objects and luridly lit with gel-covered tungsten lights. The photographs suggest broad physical comedy as much as sadomasochism.
"I don't really think of that work as erotic," DeSana has said of this series. "I think of the body almost as an object. I attempted to use the body but without the eroticism that some photographers use frequently. I think I de-eroticized a lot of it but that is the way the suburbs are in a sense." At a moment of growing interest in DeSana's life and work, this volume (edited by Dan Nadel and DeSana's longtime roommate and friend Laurie Simmons) offers access to a critical--and previously unpublished--early body of the photographer's work.
Jimmy DeSana (1949-90) is known for his portraits of the larger-than-life stars of the 1970s and 1980s downtown New York art and music scenes such as Debbie Harry, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson as well as for his staged photographs of the human body. Part of a generation of artists that introduced photography to the New York art scene in the 1980s, DeSana was active up to his death, at age 40, of an AIDS-related illness.