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PUBLISHING

SHINE Portrait Studio Press, LLC is dedicated to artists’ publications, photobooks and other printed material focused on locally engaged-projects that impart broad narratives; performance-based work done in Shine’s own studios; projects that mine archives related to Newark’s place in the history of photography; and works inspired by James Van Der Zee’s legacy that reside at intersections of beauty, kindness, self-representation, and social justice. SHINE Press is a collaborative project of Anthony Alvarez and Nick Kline.

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Plume House of Prayer

The Plume House of Prayer Series, is an edition of artists' books referencing a historic site in Newark, NJ. Once a ”cozy farmhouse on the outskirts of a little town on the riverside,” and rectory to The House of Prayer church, is the Plume House. Built in approximately 1725, and the second oldest home in the city  of Newark, now has its foundation visibly shaken by the vehicles driving on I-280, constructed a few feet from the house.

 

On this site, in 1887, Reverend Hannibal Goodwin invented celluloid photographic film in the attic. This invention was motivated by the frequent breakage of his glass lantern slides, which Goodwin used to teach children bible stories. The book covers in this series are designed to invoke a House of Prayer sermon pamphlet from 1852, on the life of statesman and slaveholder Henry Clay, delivered to “The Young Men of Newark, N.J.” 

The books published in this series vibrate with the various histories and nature of this site, including the intersection of American independence, slavery, gender, church, state, Newark’s role in the history of photography, obsolescence, and hope.

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In Pursuit of Beauty

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Deborah Willis: In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Closets in Newark and Beyond


Edited by Kalia Brooks Nelson and Nick Kline

 

With additional written contributions by Maurice Berger, Jacqueline Bishop, Kalia Brooks Nelson, Cheryl Finley, Elyssa Goodman, Nick Kline, Carla Williams, Trudy Wilner Stack.

Book Design: Chantal Fischzang


200 pages, 100 color images, 9.5" x 9.5" (23.5cm x 23.5cm)
Softcover, Perfect-Bound
ISBN: 978-0-9864181-6-7

December 2018

Deborah Willis, In Pursuit of Beauty: Imaging Closets in Newark and Beyond is a stunningly layered photobook featuring the work of one of the boldest photographers and historians of photography of our time. In Pursuit of Beauty is a lovingly sequenced visual journey that takes us from the home of Harlem fashion icon Lana Turner, to that of Henry Louis (“Skip”) Gates, Jr., in Cambridge, to the artist’s year-long engaged project with Shine Portrait Studio in and around Newark, NJ, where she explores the ways in which the concept of beauty is represented through the intimate space of the closet. In Pursuit of Beauty re-contextualizes the artist’s earlier photographs of barber shops and beauty salons, people posing beauty, street scenes, landscapes, interior spaces, and blackamoors -- all punctuated by critical writing about the artist’s expansive practice. Deborah Willis’s work as an artist, scholar and educator is grounded in making and studying photographs that reflect personal and collective memories on beauty. As an extension, Willis’s new body of work investigates the closet as a site where beauty is enacted through the representation of our private and public selves.

“A pair of sumptuous velvet heels. A perfectly molded hat. Worn leather shoes. Gold Lamé. There is strong presence felt in the absence captured in all of Deborah Willis’ images. It’s as if we can see the very individuals who have walked in this footwear, the heads adorned by these hats and those who have danced, laughed and felt joy in these clothes. Willis’ work is bold, poignant and affirming....”

 

ISOLDE BRIELMAIER,

New York University 

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