1% Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality

Beautiful but troubling: photographs of the wealthiest one percent on our planet

To be able to simply drift in the infinity pool on the roof terrace of the fifty-seven-floor Marina Bay Sands Hotel, while in the background you can enjoy the urban soundscape of Singapore’s imposing sea of high-rises. Or to be personally welcomed to a private champagne party after an extended hot-air balloon ride over the Kenyan wilderness. The extravagant pleasures of the wealthiest one percent of the earth’s population represent an extreme contrast to those of the remaining ninety-nine. Describing the gaping disparities in images is a challenge that has been taken up by Nina Berman, Peter Bialobrzeski, Guillaume Bonn, Mikhael Subotzky, and many others photographers. The volume assembles their works for the purpose of lending visual evidence to the blatant discrepancy between people’s living conditions, which can be as fascinating as it is shocking.


Edited by Myles Little, Texts by Geoff Dyer, Myles Little, Joseph Stiglitz, graphic design by grafikanstalt, Julia Wagner
Hatje Cantz
2016. 80 pp., 50 ills.
ISBN 978-3-7757-4094-4


CUBA singing with bright tears

Photographs by Virginia Beahan. Contributions from John Lee Anderson and Pico Iyer.
Pond Press, 2009. 162 pp., 97 color illustrations, 13×11″.

Publisher’s Description
“Virginia Beahan is one of our most accomplished and eloquent photographers. Her images remind us that the best landscapes have as much to tell us about history and culture as they do about topography. Looking at CUBA singing with bright tears, I am heartened to see that it is still possible to make a perfect photograph.”—Toby Jurovics, curator of photography, Smithsonian American Art Museum

CUBA singing with bright tears depicts a country both tragic and beautiful, struggling beneath the weight of history. Larger-than-life images of revolutionary heroes Che Guevara and José Martí populate the island. The Bay of Pigs is sublime and treacherous; an atmospheric body of water rimmed with jagged black coral is the same unwelcoming shore that greeted invading CIA-trained Cuban exiles over forty-seven years ago. On a billboard, Fidel Castro reminds us that the US might invade again, and if so, he “will die fighting.”

Virginia Beahan’s work falls within the tradition of great American photographers such as Walker Evans and Robert Adams. Her luminous and detailed large-format photographs reveal a landscape imbued with nuanced stories of culture shaped by geography and human action. Cuba’s long and complicated relationship with the United States is part of this unfolding drama.

Virginia Beahan
Pond Press, New York, 2009
ISBN 978-0-9761955-5-9


Cuba On The Verge: an island in transition

As Kennedy explains, this collection of essays and photographs by Cubans, Cubans
in exile and interested Americans isn’t so much about the politics of Cuba as
“the consequence of politics to Cuba.” While its structure is simple enough-short
essays on themes like spirituality, the new middle class and rural life coupled
with sets of photos, introduced by artists’ statements-its texture is delightfully
varied and idiosyncratic…. The kaleidoscope of images-Virginia Beahan’s breathtakingly
empty landscapes, Sylvia Plachy’s vibrant urban scenes, Abelardo Morell’s haunting
camera obscura projections of cityscapes on interiors-will open readers’ eyes
to a country not so much “third world” as “other world.” Publishers Weekly,
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Cuba On The Verge: An Island in Transition
Edited by: Terry McCoy
Bullfinch, New York, 2003
ISBN 0-8212-2802-1

Where We Live; Photographs of America from the Berman Collection

Where We Live presents more than 150 images from the Bruce and Nancy Berman collection of contemporary photographs. From Mitch Epstein’s Holyoke, Massachusetts, to Camilo Vergara’s Detroit, to John Divola’s 29 Palms in Southern California, the images here concentrate on the American landscape and the people and structures that can be found in its vast vistas–and its backyards. The photographs that the Bermans have been drawn to often represent changing American communities recorded by artists whose vision is passionate but unsentimental–a vision that acknowledges the present as fleeting, desolate, and lyrical.

Beautifully reproduced in this volume–which coincides with an exhibition to be held at the J. Paul Getty Museum from October 24, 2006, to February 25, 2007–are works from twenty-four contemporary photographers, the majority working in color, from William Christenberry and William Eggleston to Doug Dubois and Sheron Rupp. Accompanying the photographs are illuminating essays by Kenneth A. Breisch and Colin Westerbeck and an introduction by Judith Keller. An essay by novelist Bruce Wagner captures the mood that runs through this powerful assemblage of photographs.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2006
ISBN -10: 0-89236-854-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-89236-854-9

No Ordinary Land: Encounters in a Changing Environment

Photographs by Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee.
Aperture, New York, 1998. 108 pp., 73 four-color illustrations, 11¾x10¼”.

1998 photo-eye Best Monograph Honorable Mention. This rare partnership–true collaborative picture making–has resulted in some of the most exquisite and smart new color landscape images since Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects and Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places. For ten years these two have been photographing together, squeezing together under the dark cloth to make these complex seemingly effortless compositions. Their subject matter ranges widely–from Icelandic geothermal power stations to Hawaii’s Galaxy of Orchids> park–to reveal the human hand and its varying impulses interacting with the natural environment.

The Dividing Line: Collaborative Landscape Photography by Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 1995 (catalogue)

Photography Past Forward: Aperture at 50

Founded in 1952 by Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and other kindred spirits, Aperture magazine has been documenting the art of photography and encouraging its growth for 50 years. This anniversary book project was begun before the November 2001 death of the organization’s longtime director, Michael E. Hoffman, but was brought to completion by the magazine’s editor and other Aperture staff. The story of Aperture-which is now also the publisher of hundreds of books-is virtually a history of photography in America, as evidenced by the four-part, anecdotal account written by frequent Aperture contributor R.H. Cravens. The volume contains 250 color and black-and-white images from Diane Arbus, Paul Strand, William Eggleston, and dozens of others, chosen from issues of the magazine, as well as 40 previously unpublished photographs. Its arrangement is based on a curator’s eye rather than on chronology, creating both haunting juxtapositions and delightful serendipity. Original page spreads from the magazine and documentary photographs of the artists add interest to this already inspiring and impressive book. Required for all photography collections both as a historical text and as a powerful compilation of images.

Aperture Foundation, New York, 2002

Against Nature

In “Grand Street #70: Against Nature”, the pastoral meets the perverse. Jean-Jacques Schuhl describes chanteuse Ingrid Caven’s debut as the voice of porn star Linda Lovelace. Abdourahman A. Waberi explores the French colonialist legacy in Djibouti and the midst of a future terrorist. Pedro Lemebel recounts the last definant act of a dying transvestite. Stephen Trombley’s first-hand account of the execution of a friend accompanies Lucinda Devlin’s stark photographs of death chambers. Victor Pelevin explains Pepsi’s influence on Russia’s first post-Glasnost generation, and Durs Grunbein and Via Lewandowsky catalogue six bizarre accidental deaths. Other highlights include short stories by emerging writers Terezia Mora and Shelley Jackson, a dialogue between Professor of Comparative Literature and music critic Edward Said and pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, and poetry by Mahmoud Darwish, Volker Braun, and Sharon Olds. Also featuring Cornelia Hesse-Honegger’s meticulously detailed paintings of mutated insects collected in the vicinity of nuclear power plants, photographs by Kiki Smith, and fog sculptures by Fujiko Nakaya.
Essays by Daniel Barenboim, Durs Grunbein, Edward Said, Stephen Trombley. Fiction by Shelley Jackson, Pedro Lemebel, Terezia Mora, Victor Pelevin, Jean-Jacques Schuhl, Abdourahman A. Waberi.

8.25 x 9.5 in.
40 color, 25 b/w illustrations

Grand Street #70, portfolio with essay by Andy Grundberg, 2002

BIG #42

New Jersey, May/June 2002, portfolio

Forces of Change: A New View of Nature

Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., 2000