PRIMITIVES by Charles GAtewood
For those of you who may have missed it the first time around, you can check out the beautiful second edition printing of PRIMITIVES. First released in 1992, no one had ever seen anything like Gatewood's collection of black and white portraits before, depicting such a wide range of body art and individual expression. What had previously before been underground, Gatewood brought out into the light. What had usually only been seen in back rooms of private parties and at secret gatherings was now on display in art galleries.
Schooled as an anthropologist, Gatewood has fused his education with his love of photography, and has followed and documented U.S. subcultures for the past three decades. Starting back in the 1060s, Gatewood went to New Orleans Mardi Gras parades, biker rallies and New York City performance art events, faithfully snapping and documenting. His pursuit of the “edge” led him to the fetish underground and the very beginnings of the modern primitives and body art movements. When he felt the cutting edge shifted from the East Coast to the West, Gatewood moved from Manhattan to San Francisco.
Portraits include many (now) well-known figures: father of Modern Primitivism Fakir Musafar, London tattooist Alex Binnie, performance artist Ron Athey, piercer Elayne Binnie, writer/performer Lily (then Braindrop) Burana. Sadly several portraits are now memorials: writer Marco Vassi, Sailor Sid, sideshow performer Michael Wilson.
The reproduction values of Gatewood's duotones are good in this edition, there is a new color cover photo, and a new introduction by Gatewood.