A Proclamation: Blue Sky Books
Whereas Blue Sky Gallery is now in its fortieth year of exhibiting great photography, Whereas the Portland Art Museum has just opened a major exhibition looking at Blue Sky and its importance in the history of photography,
Whereas Blue Sky has actually been around and showing work for more than 20% of the history of photography,
Whereas Blue Sky has produced 767 exhibitions of work by 650 of the best photographers in the world during that time,
Whereas too many of these great bodies of work have never been published in book form,
Whereas the book has always been, for photography, the most important transmission vector of ideas and new ways of seeing the world,
Whereas Blue Sky has never outgrown the populism and exuberance of its Seventies roots,
Therefore Blue Sky has, on this day, simultaneously published 37 monographic books by 37 great photographers that we've shown during the past four decades. These books are available only online and they are startlingly cheap. (They're about one quarter the price of most photo books today.) This series of books are produced and distributed by harnessing the power of internet age print-on-demand capabilities and the combined social networks of Blue Sky and the 37 photographers. It's the dawn of a new way of creating Great Books by Great Photographers at Great Prices, powered by elbow grease (an artist specialty) instead of huge piles of money (not an artist specialty). Check out all 37 at www.blueskygallery.org/books and spread the word.
The books showcase the work of Justyna Badach, Karl Baden, Mary Berridge, Lucy Capehart, Susan Dobson, Beth Dow, Pedro Farias-Nardi, Mary Frey, Patricia Galagan, Eduardo Gil, Ford Gilbreath, Rita Godlevskis, Ken Graves & Eva Lipman, (Christine for) Gary Grenell, M. Bruce Hall, Craig Hickman, Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Kent Krugh, Alejandra Laviada, Pedro Lobo, Allen Maertz, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Bill McCullough, Julie Mihaly, Suzanne Opton, Christine Osinski, M. Alexis Pike, David Pace, Gail Rebhan, Greta Pratt, Shawn Records, Soody Sharifi, Danny Treacy, Seth Thompson, Joe Vitone, Susan Weil & José Betancourt, and Albert Winn.
In the words of series editor Christopher Rauschenberg, "We've got portraits, landscapes, street photography and family rituals, mythologies, quirkiness and pathology. We've got soldiers, civilians, bachelors, Haitian workers, Moslem youth, synchronized swimmers, people dressed as the statue of liberty, people holding snapshots, and people scarily dressed in rubbish. We have pictures from Russia, Cuba, Mexico, India, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, small town Oregon, and Canadian suburbs. We've got projects about prison cells, proms, English gardens, Judaism, weddings, museums, and AIDS. We've got blueprints, pre-Photoshop shenanigans, plastic camera pictures, stereographs, photographic sculpture, scanners used as cameras, pictures made with hand-held fishtank cameras, and trees seen from every direction at once. Half of the books are by women artists and all of them are great."