Patti Smith, the godmother of punk rock, is still going strong. In October of 2006, she brought the curtain down on CBGB with a fiery closing night performance at the legendary Bowery venue. More recently, she’s garnered acclaim for her live double disc and Robert Mapplethorpe tribute, The Coral Sea, on which she collaborated with Kevin Shields of My Blood Valentine. And Steven Sebring’s new documentary, Patti Smith: Dream of Life (shot over the course of 11 years), was also met with critical praise. Next on her agenda? Writing the intro for a new book of photography by Jessica Lange.
Michael Musto reports today on his blog that Ms. Smith has teamed up with the Oscar-winning actress for a book called 50 Photographs, which, as the title suggests, will feature 50 photographs shot by Ms. Lange “in an arty black-and-white mode.” Mr. Musto’s take?
It turns out the woman’s been aiming a camera at stuff for 15 years now, "approaching the art as an antidote to the constant fervor of Hollywood." But doesn’t Hollywood itself also involve photographing things, sometimes for the sake of art? I guess not when you consider films like Hush and Prozac Nation—but now I’m totally digressing. Lange says she likes the fact that photography, unlike acting, can be a solitary and private endeavor. Still, I bet she likes the fact that her book—which comes out this fall on powerHouse—wasn’t done completely without company. Patti Smith, of all people, wrote the intro. Make sense? Not in the least. Sound interesting? Yep!
You can preview some of the photos on the Brooklyn-based powerHouse Books’ Web site, which lists the price of the 108-page hardcover as $60. Also, a quote from Ms. Lange: “I find photography a most mysterious process—capturing that moment in time and space, elusive and fleeting, and crystallizing it. You have made a photograph. It is its own thing now. To me, that is thrilling.”