WHAT: SPQR Editions announces its inaugural publication of five photography monographs, each investigating a sense of place in the urban landscape through long-form, pictorial narratives.
Twenty years ago, renowned photographer Thomas Roma sat in the office of the late, legendary W.W. Norton editor James L. Mairs with an advanced copy of his first monograph, Found in Brooklyn (an homage to his hometown), that Mairs would soon publish. Inside Mairs’ office, teeming with books piled high, he told Roma that he believed the book “would have a long life.” The idea of a book having a life of it’s own beyond the existence and intentions of the author resonated with Roma and left an indelible impression visible in Roma’s fourteen subsequent publications.
The launch of SPQR Editions recalls this story, with Roma now in the role of publisher and able to use his twenty years of experience editing, sequencing, and being on press for his own publications to inform the creation of these new books for others. Each monograph—the first for all of the photographers—offers visual narratives about specific places and are intended to present their audience with something that is worth remembering and holding onto:
- Back of Town, by Stephen Hilger, chronicles a New Orleans neighborhood devastated by Katrina and marked for demolition.
- Aftermath, by Yoav Horesh, shows suicide bombing sites in Israel after their hasty repair.
- About Face: Picturing Tampa, by Kai McBride, presents a dystopian view of a city peopled only by the grinning faces on billboards set against strip malls, stagnant water, and shuttered dreams.
- This, My Garden, Has Been to Me, by Dennis Santella, creates an elegiac document of the formal and improvised green space in Harlem during a period of rapid change in the neighborhood.
- House, by Jeffrey Henson Scales, portrays vibrant reflections of life, history and masculinity in the mirrors of House’s barbershop in Harlem.
All five books were carefully edited and sequenced by Thomas Roma, elegantly designed by Marvin Hoshino and Anna Roma, and adeptly produced by Giancarlo Roma. Beautifully printed in duotone ink at Grafica SI.Z in Verona, Italy, all five books measure 8 3⁄8” by 8 3⁄8”, have 96 pages, and include between 41 and 53 images. The titles retail for $29.95 plus tax on Amazon.com and at bookstores throughout the United States.
SPECIAL EVENT: The five new books will be available for sale at the SPQR Book Launch and Signing on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at Affirmation Arts. The books will be available for $30 (tax included) at the book launch and a special edition of all five books will be available for $125 (tax included).
Curator Susan Kismaric and Thomas Roma will hold a public conversation on the contemporary photo book from 6:30 – 7:00pm on the evening of the launch. The five photographers will be present to sign their books and as well as co-owner of the press Grafica SI.Z, Nicola Simioni.