Photographs by Bill Owens.
Fotofolio, New York, 2004. 120 pp., Numerous illustra throughout, 10x10".
Bill Owens captivated the photography world in the 1970s with his playful photographs of suburbia. He published three books on the series, including the classic Suburbia, with a fourth planned on leisure. Now thirty years later, this long awaited fourth volume presents a selection of unpublished photographs taken between the late 60s and early 80s. Owens touches on the abstract idea of the American dream by showing Americans in all kinds of familiar leisure activities—and occasionally in leisure suits! From the miniature golf courses to the fast food playgrounds, from backyard barbeques to foosball games, Owens’s wacky sense of humor and campy aesthetic prevails. Throughout, Owens presents suburbia, which many would characterize as the epitome of consumerism and commercial sprawl, with a refreshing spirit of optimism and friendliness, perfectly mimicking our carefree cultural outlook. - Denise Wolff
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