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Levinthal, David (Photographer) & Diawara, Manthia (Contributor). DAVID LEVINTHAL: BLACKFACE. Santa Fe, NM: Arena Editions, 1999. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 156 pages. As New/As New. Signed.

Landmark collection of photographs on subject. One of the greatest photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Published in a very small and limited print run, it was not reissued once all of the copies were sold. The First Edition is now very scarce. A brilliant production by David Levinthal and James Crump: Oversize-volume format. Black cloth boards with titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by David Levinthal. Essay by Manthia Diawara. Printed on thick coated stock paper in Italy to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents David Levinthal's photographs of his "Blackface" toy collection. Like his other collections built around compelling themes (politics, sex, ideology, and anti-Semitism), "Blackface" tells a riveting photo-narrative on racism. Photographing his toy artifacts is an artistic strategy that is now identified with the artist. Levinthal is a collector twice over: First, of vintage toys, which are valuable in and of themselves (Levinthal's photographs would not have the same power if the toys were new or merely replicas, therefore not "collectible"); second, of images by their photographer/collector, who deploys a highly developed technique that enables him to make the toys come, uncannily, to life. As such, Levinthal's body of work is ultimately not about their ostensible subject but about aesthetics versus ethics, the paradox of the aesthetically pleasing photograph (which seduces) despite its ethically horrific subject (which repels). The photographs are beautiful, which is not the same thing as saying they glorify their subject. They do not. Instead, their beauty paradoxically makes us more aware of the period in American history when racism was so pervasive that it turned an innocent object, a child's toy, into a racist souvenir. Levinthal does not hesitate to make a "statement", but he does so with subtlety. And surely he never imagined that less than a decade after the publication of his book, America would (surprisingly) vote the first African-American President into office. That this fact would (not surprisingly) lead to a huge backlash, the most virulent resurgence of racism ("Blackface" = Barack Obama) in recent history shows that racism is alive and well in American society. The more Sarah Palin or Donald Trump denies being racist (by raising other "relevant" issues against Obama), the more we realize how deeply racist they are. "Blackface" is the subject of a major new retrospective in 2011. Levinthal has completed a new sequel-collection that will be published as a companion volume in 2011/2012. A masterpiece that has lost none of its original power, this is an absolute "must-have" title for David Levinthal collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the half-title page by David Levinthal. This is one of very few signed copies still available online and has absolutely no flaws, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. 98 color plates. One of the greatest living photographers. A flawless collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER DAVID LEVINTHAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1892041065. $300.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on February 23, 2017.