Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs by Robert Trachtenberg

Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs by Robert Trachtenberg is a  modern book of photography featuring  photoshoots of actors, musicians and other well known media figures.  It is difficult to categorize this eccentric book into a specific genre. While it features known faces and figures from popular culture and modern media- the selection of subjects as well as  the themed photoshoots seem to be aligned with a smaller niche of readers.  Possibly the term "Red- Blooded American Male" is a euphemism that may be appreciated by some readers.   The varied mix of eclectic fashion ranging from complete nudity, to partial nudity to extravagant costumes and women's wear add an unexpected element.  This book challenges gender roles and stereotypes as well as the traditional perceptions of well known celebrities by creating a mix- up like none other.  Ironically, in the preface, the author addresses the question as to who would actually "pay good money" to buy this book.  Ironically, I feel the shock value of this book is what will drive readers to invest in this book.  This book of photography may be considered art by some readers and to others- part of a social movement to reject traditional roles and values. In the end, the best way to describe this work is a book of alternative art and photography. At least for those traditional readers- if you pull off the full color jacket featuring a reclining male in fishnets dressed in grey in a room with color coordinated decor-  you will find the glossy black binding, and contemporary yet minimalist cover to fit very well with the books on your book shelf.     As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Amphoto Book for the purpose of writing this review.

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