Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Before (During) After

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Review - Before (During) After

About the Book“We saw it. We captured it. We are forever changed by it.”  It has been said that art mirrors life. This sentiment has never been more true than it was for those artists who lived in or around southeast Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. Chaos, despair, suffering were all rampant, not to mention water, water everywhere. Those images broadcast throughout the world, became permanently embedded in our
collective psyches.

Before During After is a visual and literary narrative of how Hurricane Katrina transformed the lives and work of twelve photographers from southeast Louisiana. Five years after the storm’s wake, we look back to discover Katrina’s imprint on the creative expression of these artists. The book emphasizes not only the effect of Hurricane Katrina but also the way individuals are influenced by their environments, particularly in times of dramatic upheaval. Adding depth to the pictorial representation, photographers have written intimate accounts of how Katrina changed their lives, work and vision of the future.

Before During After explores the changes in subject matter, media, and technique from the work created before the storm to after. It’s important to mark this milestone in a positive way, showing strength in times of adversity and exploring how the storm has been an impetus for change.  Native New Orleanian and artist Elizabeth Kleinveld, who developed the book with Tom Varisco, found that the best way to deal with the destruction of Katrina was through her art. “Personally, photographing the destruction was a way for me to take in the affronts to the senses and to sensibility. It was a way for me to contend with the devastation and to distance myself from reality so that I could bear it just a little more.”  In addition to Kleinveld, the other photographers include: Eric Julien, Rowan Metzner, David Rae Morris, Tom Neff, Sam Portera, Frank Relle, Jen Shaw, Mark Sindler, Zack Smith, Jonathan Traviesa, and Lori Waselchuck.

Issued by University of New Orleans Press, the four-color, softbound publication is $24.95 and now available for review. Created by Tom Varisco Designs, the 124-page book also features insightful essays by John Biguenet, Steven Maklansky, and Tony Lewis.

My Take on the Book
This book will stun you into submission! Talk about powerful, the images draw you in and let you relive the tragedy that was Katrina. On top of this the literary portions of the book were eloquently written and help you to understand what people felt and are still feeling about what happened to their homes. I was touched by the stories and mesmorized by the images that were shared in this and I know that you will be also.

If this book sounds like something that you would like for your own collection, you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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