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There Is No Eye
Cohen, John Cohen is a photographer whose talents are put to excellent use in part because he finds himself in the right place at the right time, recording shared qualities within such widely dispersed locales as Greenwich Village's Beat scene, high-altitude Andean villages, and storefront churches. Cohen was a fixture in the 1950s folk-music revival (he was the guitarist in the trio The New Lost City Ramblers), who also happened to have a camera and a deeply inquisitive disposition at his service. The lyrical and moving work that resulted is collected for the first time in this monograph. The most appealing by-product of Cohen's densely textured black-and-white images is an ecumenical message that people everywhere will find ways to interpret and adapt to life by means both creative and life-giving. This message is visible in the slightly askew beer bottle in the pocket of a faceless Peruvian trumpeter, the artist Red Grooms ferrying a large painting across Third Avenue in a pram, and production stills from Robert Frank's beat opus Pull My Daisy. Many famous faces make an appearance: the crumpled forehead of Jack Kerouac, an impish Bob Dylan, a diffident Franz Kline, and a tousled, aging Woody Guthrie. However, the real meat of this fine and inspiring work is the depiction of unknown toilers in Cohen's family of man. Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. Book Description Introduction by Greil Marcus. Preface by Patti Smith. Art Direction by Yolanda Cuomo. Be it in the Peruvian Andes, in Kentucky bluegrass country, in the Gospel churches of Brooklyn, or in Greenwich Village with Bob Dylan and the Beats, famed musician John Cohen's vision transcends history, even while it distills the spirit of a period and a place. There Is No Eye, Cohen's first monograph, is a guided tour through the worlds of outsider artists, poets, and musicians. Cohen's lyrical stories of the cultures he has encountered complement his photographs taken over the past five decades. Featuring never-before-seen photographs of legendary Beat generation icons, from literary lions Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Gregory Corso to artists and photographers Grace Hartigan, Franz Kline, Red Grooms, and Robert Frank, and a panoply of American Roots musicians, from Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and Muddy Waters to Doc Watson, Elizabeth Cotton, and Roscoe Holcomb, There Is No Eye captures some of the most influential artists of our time.