Richard Rothman’s Redwood Saw


I want to alert you to a new book by the outstanding photographer Richard Rothman of NYC.  It’s called Redwood Saw and Richard will have a signing at ICP next week.  More information about the signing can be found on ICP’s site.

Richard figures into my story in a unique way.  15-16 years ago I had visions of collaborating with a photographer on my own book about Pittsburgh.  Then I stumbled on Gene Smith’s unfinished Pittsburgh in January 1997 and here I am today, still working on Smith.  My Smith work began with a relatively benign piece for DoubleTake magazine and I wasn’t looking beyond that assignment.  On my first or second trip out to Smith’s archive at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, CCP had an exhibition that included a number of prints by Robert Adams from his West from the Columbia series.  I was stunned by those prints.  I wrote Adams a letter and asked him if he’d collaborate with me on a book about Pittsburgh.  He responded kindly, saying he might have done it two or three decades earlier but he was now rooted on the coast of Oregon.  Instead, he recommended Richard Rothman.  He said Richard was one of the great landscape photographers of today.  Richard and I soon met in Brooklyn and we began pondering how to pull off something together.  Meanwhile my DoubleTake article on Smith’s Pittsburgh project was a success and it grew into Dream Street. I learned about Smith’s loft tapes and things took off.  I never returned to the original Pittsburgh idea.

But I’d still like to work with Richard on something one day. I saw early sequences of images from Redwood Saw and they were awesome.


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