Can a book of photography substitute for an exhibition of the same photographs? This is the question pushed forward by Andrew Child by concurrently publishing a color photography book and mounting an exhibition of the same images at ArtSpace Maynard. The question may seem elementary, and the answer may seem obvious, but it’s more complicated than we think.
Child is an artist who is aware of himself. In the introduction to his gorgeous book of color panoramic infrared images, “Cape Cod and the Islands: Light Beyond Vision,” he makes clear that there are many books documenting the Cape Cod region: “I suspect that many readers will object to my referring to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as a single place. Shelves of books have been written about each.” So, what’s so special about Child’s photographs and why should be pay attention to him as an artist?
Child expands the work of Joel Meyerowitz, who in 1978 published “Cape Light,” a groundbreaking book of color large-format images of Cape Cod that is still influential and serves as a template for contemporary photographers. Like Meyerowitz, Child has created images that are serene, minimal, poetic and evocative, surreal and supremely engaged light, color and composition.
The publication of “Cape Cod and the Islands: Light Beyond Vision” was a two-year process: “I was planning (the book) in the fall of 2017, and shot spring to fall last year while the leaves were out,” Child explained. “Foliage is critical for good infrared. The design (of the book) was done last fall and winter and then the Kickstarter fundraising campaign in the spring.”