Master photographer Kenro Izu has for years been working with the platinum palladium process to create stunning floral and nude still lifes. Using large-format cameras, and contact printing images as large as 14 x 20 inches, Izus photographs possess a rare sensuality and tactility. The photographs surface qualities and rich tonalities reference the hand-crafted beauty of earlier movements in photography, but these images are timelessthey beg contemplation and immersion from the viewer. Its no wonder Izu has been noticed by such important photography collectors as Elton John. This book, the first devoted to Izus still lifes, is certain to be a classic tome in contemporary photography. Printed on luscious Italian stock in large format, the images come alive in this rarefied book object designed by Elsa Kendall. The images are accompanied by an introduction written by Richard Gere, and an interpretive essay by noted curator Arthur Ollman.
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In this stunning collection of still-life flowers and figures, photographer Kenro Izu's black and white images reveal the hidden nature of life's complex beauty. Instilled with the meditative quality and precision of a Japanese garden, these high-contrast pictures evoke an emotional and visceral response. Although beauty is captured on every page, there are also elements of tragedy in the brief glimpses of life that slowly succumb to decay. Izu's work strives to capture the disappearing moments following idealized perfection. Here, time is the subject of each photograph, showing the power of subtle degeneration. The metaphors of life, death, and decay also point to our own fate, as shown in the scrutiny of human forms. Izu's special process of using a custom-made camera to produce unusually large 14-by-20-inch negatives for platinum prints produces images with amazing clarity and detail. The exposed form and texture of skin and flowers cannot hide the blemished and deteriorating idiosyncrasies of the subjects. With his refined vision, Kenro Izu's images offer insight and invite introspection. --Lucas Hilbert
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