Saturday, February 11, 2006

If you're near NYC, get ye to my brother's book launch

Book Launch and Party
Friday, February 17
6.00 PM – 8.00 PM

Exhibition - February 15 -- 27
The National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY
Contact: 212.475-3424

Please visit to see more work by the photographer, or to order CONFIDENCE GAMES.

NEW YORK CITY, January 20, 2006 – Edizioni Charta of Milan, Italy, has published Confidence Games, a book of photographs by Thatcher Keats that plumbs the yearnings, failings and pleasures of his subjects.

“The work in Confidence Games touches a lot of the obsessions I've indulged over time, from punk rock to religious charismatics to the literary symbolists to cryptology,” explained Keats, whose photos are an exhilarating mix of reportage, portraiture and theater.

The book's title, “Confidence Games” expresses the tension evoked by Keats’ method and attitude. It suggests exploitation but also the act of confiding. “I didn't take these pictures to titillate or exploit. I shoot people who warm to me, who let me in, who give me access. I hope my work is honest. I'm fascinated by people, how they live, how they get through the day. I like kids, stoners, complicated families because they tend to let it all hang out.

I'm not a distant observer. I'm as participatory as I can be without being in the frame. I don't stage events but I'm not some invisible observer in the corner either,” Keats said.

Rick Moody wrote the book's introduction in the guise of a psychiatric field study. “Issues economic, cultural, psychosexual, were always in rich solution during inquiries,” he writes. “Keats… exists in a vocabulary of infiltration hoaxes…What he was doing, according to respondents, was taking them out for a meal or a beer. Or: he was at the beach with them or he was singing, in a warbly voice, imitative of bootleg recordings, and he was therefore offering a photographic writing of human pathos.”

Even in Keats’ darkest pieces, there’s usually an element of joy. “I think a lot about the Asian kid I shot while in Thailand. The one with the ripped eye and the lollipop. I feel bad for him. But he's smiling. He's happy. He doesn't know he should have Blue Cross instead of H-I-P instead of nothing. He's full of life. I like shooting kids because they lack self-consciousness. Behaviorally, they're so open.”

Thatcher Keats started working in the 1980's, taking his cues from American traditional modernists like Robert Frank, Minor White, Diane Arbus, Larry Clark and Arthur Tress. As a young man he worked for a number of photographers including Larry Clark and Rosalind Solomon and had his first show at public exhibition space ‘10 on 8’ when he was 18. Self-taught, he is also a master printer – he does all his own printing and processes -- and a commercial photographer whose work has appeared in ID, The Fader, Vanity Fair, Esquire and Vice, among others. Confidence Games, his first book, is a survey of his black and white work from the 80s and 90s.

Confidence Games will be available in February through DAP, in bookstores, at online booksellers or may be purchased directly from the photographer at .


michi said...

far from new york, but this collection sounds very, very interesting.

michi said...

just read your poem in the new 3rd muse - love it!

and I felt
I might not have to walk
through life with this boulder
between my hands. I want
to lie down in your drawl, fall
asleep on the tilt of your eyebrow.

is divine!

congrats!! mx

SarahJane said...

thanks michi!

Bob Hoeppner said...

Well, being a guy, I'm always in the mood for an upskirt pic. Thanks for putting a little zing in my day!

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