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For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness.

Photographs by Julian Germain.
SteidlMack, Gottingen, 2005. 72 pp., 40 color photographs, 9¼x11".

There are numerous individual images in this book that stand out, such as the one at right, showing an old man fussing over a stovetop while his meal cools on the table, or the photograph of him happily seated in a lawn chair in a tiny backyard, surrounded by his well-manicured roses and groundcover. The stalwart foundation for this genuine body of work stems directly from the quiet attitude of docility Germain takes towards his subject, a British pensioner and widower by the name of Charles Albert Lucien Snelling. Camera in hand and with a few hours to kill on the weekend, he is open to learning from this unassuming and accidental elder. The book is, essentially, a collective portrait of one elderly man, and as such, there is a retro feel to the entire body of work. His clothing, the wallpaper, the photo-album pages of Snelling’s snapshots which are reproduced intermittently throughout the book are all straight out of the 1960s and 70s. But that's not to say this book is fixated on the surface patterns of the past. In fact, it's very much about the present. One assumes that the title for the book was actually something that Mr. Snelling said one day, probably in passing about a small event that would have irritated most of us. For this reader, at least, it serves to sum up the book’s message. Germain ends his book-length appreciation with the following words, “Without ever trying or intending to, he showed me that the most important things in life cost nothing at all. He was my antidote to modern living.” - Darius Himes Read Publisher's Description.

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