New York: Life is Good & Good For You In New York! Trance Witness Revels by William Klein
True First Edition, First Printing, 1956
Includes Tourist Brochure/Captions Booklet
This is a first edition, first printing of the critically acclaimed photobook, “New York: Life is Good & Good For You In New York! Trance Witness Revels “published by Editions du Seuil, Album Petite Planète, Paris in 1956. The British and Italian versions of the book were published later in 1956 making this the true first edition. Vince Aletti provides a wonderful critique of “New York” in the photobook reference work, “The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century”….”William Klein, a native New Yorker, had been living and painting in Paris for six years when Alexander Liberman, the art director of Vogue, invited the 26-year-old expatriate artist to return to the states as a graphic design assistant at the magazine 'I felt like a Macy's balloon floating back after a million orbits,' Klein wrote later of his 1954 arrival. 'All the sights and sounds I missed or had forgotten or never even knew suddenly moved me very much.' Klein never took that job at Vogue, but Liberman gave him the occasional portrait assignment and convinced Conde Nast to pick up the expenses while Klein set off to capture those sights in an eight-month photographic 'diary on what it felt like to be at home.' 'I had a peculiar kind of double vision,' he wrote, 'one eye almost Parisian, the other an incorrigible wise-ass New Yorker.' That combination of sophistication and rudeness served him well he simply didn't know how to take a conventional picture. Improvising, thriving on accidents and surprise, Klein turned out raw, kinetic and utterly original photographs-each one a gut reaction to the energy and excitement of the city street Published in France, Italy, and England, but not in America, Life is Good was a sensation No two pages were alike; full-bleed images were followed by white-bordered pictures set on black pages; a stack of small photos was set next to a shot so big it straddled the gutter Klein went on to make similarly splashy books on Rome, Tokyo and Moscow, as well as the inevitable films, but New York remains matchless, a time bomb that's never been defused." In “The Photobook: A History, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger added, “William Klein's magnum opus, this greatest of 1950’s photobooks by a native American, was never published in the United States. New York is a quintessential monument to the American cultural scene of the 1950’s. It is the “upside” to Robert Frank's “downside" as captured in “The Americans”.”
Containing 188 stunning black-and-white photogravures and measuring approximately 11” x 9”, the book is bound in black cloth boards in a photographically illustrated dust jacket. Also included is a tipped in a 16 page tourist brochure/captions booklet. The condition of the book is FINE- with only the most minimal of wear. The dust jacket is in FINE- condition with some wear to the inside front flap. The tourist brochure is in Near FINE condition with some creasing to the bottom edge and lower right corner tip. Overall, this is a gorgeous copy of one of the greatest photobooks ever published that is rarely found in such fantastic condition.
Cited in all three reference books on photobooks: “The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century” by Andrew Roth and “The Photobook: A History”, by Parr and Badger, and “The Open Book” by Andrew Roth.
Photographs of the dust jacket, tourist brochure/captions booklet, as well as photographs contained in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.