"In September 1925, between 51st and 52nd Streets on Broadway in New York, a Russian immigrant named Anatol Josepho installed the first entirely automatic photo studio.
It was a small booth where anyone could get a snapshot portrait made, without a photographer, for a very small fee: 8 photos in 8 minutes for 25 cents. The invention was an overnight success; 'Time magazine' estimated the number of clients in the first six months around 280,000. By the time Josepho sold his brand to a group of investors for about $1 million two years later, booths were already being exported around the world.
The concept appealed not only to the general public, but also to artists. Prompted by Rene Magritte, the major Surrealists - Louis Aragon, Luis Bunuel, Paul Aeluard, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Andre Breton - made self-portraits with their eyes closed.
French photographer Willy MICHEL used a booth on the Boulevard des Italiens to document the celebrities of the 1920s, and decades later, Richard AVEDON and Andy WARHOL made celebrity portraits in photo booths.
Countless documents are available, including shots of Francis Bacon, Billy Childish, Allen Ginsberg, John F. Kennedy, Anne Frank, Wim Wenders and Walker EVANS.
'Photobooth' draws a fantastic, if incomplete, inventory of artistic variations on the snapshot, bringing together works of art and self-portraits of persons, both known and unknown, from the early days to the present. T
he book also includes several gatefolds and special tipped-in gatefolds that emulate the classic photobooth presentation of snapshot sequences." (publisher's note, © Abrams, 2010)
- Raynal Pellicer
- English ed., HC with dust jacket, 19 x 23 x 3 cm., 252 pp., richly color & b/w illustrated, text language: English