New York, 1977. It began with a book, a paperback with black and white photographs of the punk scene. The book was titled White Trash and it featured the boldest of the boldface names: Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Debbie Harry, Halston, Andy Warhol, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Divine, and John Waters. Add to that a splash of Man Ray, Tennessee Williams, and Marilyn Chambers, and you’ve nailed it. White Trash, Christopher Makos’ photography book, is the place where pop meets pulp, perfectly defining the D.I.Y. ethos of the times. The book has become a seminal volume of the times and now sells for upwards of $500.
However, the original edition is a paperback, and paperbacks are not designed to last. They’re disposable (like, say, white trash). And if you crack the spine too wide, the entire thing might fall apart in your hands. We are fortunate, then, that Glitterati Incorporated has released a revised and expanded edition in hardcover.
White Trash Uncut, Makos’ updated monograph, is a lavish affair. This tall, slim volume features the photographs uncropped (unlike the 1977 edition). It also features a selection of never-before-published photographs of Grace Jones, among others. Included throughout the book is the use of silver, making the pages come alive. Everything about the book is luxurious, and in that way it becomes a statement of the times. Punk has passed; that New York is long gone. But what lives in its place are photographs, memories, and stories.
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