About photobooks – old and new.
Title: New York: Boys are so dumb
Author: Elvira Lindo
Published and designed by Caravanbook, 2015
A6 size, unpaginated (20 pages + 4 extra small pages), photographically illustrated wrappers
“New York: Boys are so dumb” charms the reader for its vivid sequence of spontaneous snapshots of NYC. In a diaristic style, the photos reflect Elvira’s intuitive perception about a city full of contrasts. In her own words, “There is not one single unphotogenic corner in the wild city. The ruinous and the sublime stand just 50 meters away from each other. The very wealthy and the futureless poor cross paths on the street. This contrast stimulates the photographic look in a way that makes one want to bring back home loads of pictures, not having to add anything when showing them.”
The title, taken from a fortuitous encounter in Harlem, emphasizes the spontaneity of Elvira’s process. “If you spot a hopscotch somewhere in Harlem, with boys are so dumb written in chalk by a little girl, that sheer image is telling a whole story: one as fascinating as you want it to be.” So, the title seems to reflect more Elvira’s playful spirit than her opinion about New York boys.
The Spanish publisher Caravanbook is specialized in travel photobooks, mainly about cities. Caravanbook stands out in this field by sharing authors’ intimate and unique perspectives of each place. Specifically about “Boys Are So Dumb”, Caravanbook describes it as “a very particular portrait of that wild city made by the well-known writer Elvira Lindo. She photographs with curiosity, tenderness and certain cheekiness and although she is not a photographer, she has created a wonderful body of images.”