JUSTIN KIMBALL – WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES

Justin Kimball was born in New Jersey and received his M.F.A. in photography from the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. He is currently a Professor of Photography at Amherst College and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and Aaron Siskind Fellowship. His monograph, Where We Find Ourselves, has been widely collected in libraries all over the world and was met with much international acclaim.

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In most of America’s attempts to escape their everyday lives, it isn’t all palm trees and tiled pools. The sterilized green and bikini waxes of upper class getaways are left behind and Kimball takes us on a vacation back to real nature. We end up at campgrounds, on dingy smoke-stacked beaches, at lakes with mud runs. It’s a wild and unkempt world where most of the country ends up spending their precious time off, unwinding among rocks and rivers, sparkling yellow water, and other people’s wet spandex.

Ever since he made his first photograph of a ride operator drinking water from a gin bottle, Justin Kimball has been telling stories, both found and fabricated, through his camera. This monograph is one his finest in story telling and shows that with the right set of eyes on the right subject, anything can be seraphic. Kimball mulled over and meditated on this collection for nine years, and it shows. Every angle is deliberate, every moment decisive, and every instant miraculous.

When it comes down to it, what’s really so great about this monograph is that Kimball presents everything at face value. It’s not a commentary on humans vs. environment, it’s not a call to action. Kimball takes these not so beautiful places and people and lifestyles, and in them finds moments of sanctity. Of divinity. Every man becomes an Adonis, every dip in the water a baptism, every life touched, an epic.

Review by Taylor Kigar

Title : “Where We Find Ourselves”, 2006
Size : 11.2 x 9.9 inches
Page Count : 94 Pages
Publisher : Columbia College Chicago
ISBN : 1-930066-46-5
Edition : 2000, signed

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