Jonathan Lipkin is a photographer, writer, and professor of digital media at Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has lectured internationally on issues of digital media and is the author of Photography Reborn and In the Realm of the Circuit.
Livingston County is a collection of photographs featuring the small towns of New York run by hunting rifles, hard work, and Coors Light. Lipkin winds a stunning narrative through both slick winters and the dry husks of summer, and what originally started as an assignment to photograph salt mines expanded into a four year project exploring rural isolation, the psychology of its people, and examining what it means to belong.
It’s at the same time both positive and negative, uneasy and somehow comfortable. It’s as close to a first hand account that can be reached without actually being a part of the town, and Lipkin aptly described the experience as a “complicated blend of aggression and tenderness, compassion and brutality, as I was greeted with open arms and a wariness that befit my status as an outsider”.
The photos move along with an interesting parallelism, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a separated lens between man and animal. The spheres of thriving and surviving crash together, men and women court each other, rearing children like they rear cattle, and the kingdom of man and the kingdom of the animals lays down to rest on the same level.
Everything is instilled with a sense of fondness at arm’s length, hobbies turned into lifestyles, and the resulting mix of modesty and savagery.
Review by Taylor Kigar
Title : “Livingston County Photographs 2006-2011”, 2011
Size : 8 1/8″ x 11″
Publisher : Conveyor Arts
Page Count : 120 Pages
Edition : Signed