Episodes / Ep. 115 - Mitch Epstein

115. Mitch Epstein


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Mitch Epstein is an American artist

Episode 115: It was a great pleasure to speak with Mitch Epstein on his incredible book Sunshine Hotel published by Steidl (2019).

Mitch Epstein. Amos Coal Power Plant Raymond, West Virginia. 2004. From Sunshine Hotel. Steidl. 2019.

The book is a compendium of Mitch’s American work edited by Andrew Roth of The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photobooks of the Twentieth Century, a important early book on making the photobook visible in the cultural landscape.

Mitch Epstein. Cocoa Beach, Flroida. 1983 From Sunshine Hotel. Steidl. 2019.

Sunshine Hotel is a much needed survey of Mitch’s work in 175 images which span the timeframe from 1969, with an emphasis on America during the Vietnam War, through to 2018. Mitch’s photographs emphasize the important details of the American century. The book is lavishly printed by Steidl as most of their books are. The important characteristic of this book is the overview it gives to Mitch’s work dutifully enabled by the production by Steidl. If you do not have Mitch’s single titles, this book is pretty invaluable and an excellent entry point.

Mitch Epstein. Biloxi, Mississippi. 2005. From Sunshine Hotel. Steidl. 2019.

In this episode, we spoke about Mitch’s work, the political moments within frame and the contextualisation of the images within the larger cultural and political landscape of America. Mitch and I spoke about a single images and we went through about 70% of the book together. Given the amount of images in the book, something longer would certainly have involved quite a long series of episodes, but with this, we cover particulars and general thoughts on work as filtered through his exceptional photographs.

Mitch Epstein. From Sunshine Hotel. Steidl. 2019

During this episode, we were alerted to Biden’s victory over Trump. It was an interesting moment.

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Music: Algiers, with their full permission

Photograph Credit: Mitch Epstein, Sunshine Hotel, Steidl (2019)
Editing: Adam Mead
Producer: Lucas Callaghan
Executive Producer: Brad Feuerhelm

Rights are reserved to Nearest Truth. No copies of this content is permitted without express permission from Brad Feuerhelm.

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