Recreation – American Photographs 1973-1988 | Mitch Epstein

Recreation – American Photographs 1973-1988
Mitch Epstein

144 pages
2.3 x 27.5 cm
Steidl, 2005


Mitch Epstein was born in 1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He is one of America’s most distinguished color photographers. His work has been shown and collected by museums and galleries worldwide, including, in New York, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum and The Whitney. His previous books include In Pursuit of India; Vietnam: A Book of Changes and The City. Epstein has won many awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 for Family Business.

Family Business | Mitch Epstein

Family Business
Mitch Epstein

300 pages
Hardback | Clothbound
Steidl, 2005

In the summer of 1999, two boys barely in their teens were so bored they started a fire in a boarded up apartment building in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The fire spread and engulfed an entire city block. Mitch Epstein’s father owned the building and was sued for 15 million dollars he didn’t have; Epstein’s father also owned a once successful furniture store that now faced liquidation. Family Business is an epic work about the demise of a Jewish immigrant dynasty and it traces the fall of a New England town from industrial giant to drug-dealing capital. Epstein has combined formally rigorous pictures with fluid video clips to recreate his father’s universe. The book’s four chapters – Store, Property, Town, Home – include photographs, storyboards, video stills and dialogues. In Family Business he has invented a unique format: a mixed-media novel. The book’s conceptual ambitions are matched by its fearless humanity. Surprising, hard-hitting and haunting, it resembles nothing seen before.