My old pal, THE go-to book designer for photographers for the past 25+ years, Yolanda Cuomo had a fun holiday book-signing party at her studio in Chelsea. Besides having a blast seeing her grow kids, Luca and Gianni, husband Joe and artist Dad, John, and some old work pals, I got a couple of great signed books. Yolanda has designed over 130, and after she left Vanity Fair, where we met, and started her own studio I helped her on a few, one for The Met, The Waking Dream, which is practically the history of photography.
I got a great out of print book, Sylvia Plachy’s Unguided Tour (Aperture, 1991) photographer extrordinaré (who also gave birth to Oscar-winning actor, Adrien Brody) and Barack Obama‘s photographer Pete Souza. Yo (nickname for Yolanda) has designed books for both of them but it’s Mr. Souza’s new one, Shade, that is particularly relevant as we roll into 2019.
As Chief Official White House Photographer, Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. He had an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency —and the responsibility that comes with it.
Now, as a private citizen observing the Trump administration as we all are, he’s throwing EXCELLENT shade on his Instagram (a must-follow) and in this book. As his website says,
“Shade is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions. Here, more than one hundred of Souza’s unforgettable images of President Obama deliver new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House.
What began with Souza’s Instagram posts soon after President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 has become a potent commentary on the state of the Presidency, and our country. Some call this “throwing shade.” Souza calls it telling the truth.
In Shade, Souza’s photographs are more than a rejoinder to the chaos, abuses of power, and destructive policies that now define our nation’s highest office. They are a reminder of a President we could believe in, and a courageous defense of American values.“
The holidays are over, so buy a copy for yourself. If you’re lucky, like me, you might even get yours signed, a picture and to share a drink with the man and hear a few juicy tales, that I can’t repeat here.
Also, check his first one Obama: An Intimate Portrait.