Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs, by Robert Trachtenberg
Publication: Amphoto Books; September 13, 2016
A collection of 100 inspired and surprising portraits of celebrities and everymen alike from the award-winning photographer Robert Trachtenberg.
Paul Rudd checking out the merchandise; Jimmy Kimmel playing dress up; Jack Black getting a one-of-a-kind pedicure; Elon Musk unveiling his newest Tesla; Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David taking a coffee break.
From leading men to comedians, ballet dancers to quarterbacks, war veterans to Broadway veterans, Red-Blooded American Male features more than 100 imaginative, striking, and sexy portraits from award-winning photographer Robert Trachtenberg. Pithy captions about each shoot accompany the photographs, giving readers a peek behind the curtain of a famed portrait photographer’s creative process and his world-renowned photographs.
Uncovering a unique (and often self-deprecating) side to such talents as Jimmy Fallon, Seth Rogen, Channing Tatum, Waris Ahluwalia, Will Ferrell, and Kevin Hart, this collection goes beyond mere portraiture to challenge conventional notions of masculinity and traditional male imagery.
I typically seek out various types of fiction to read and review, but my interest was peaked when given the option to review “Red-Blooded American Male,” by photographer Robert Trachtenberg. This collection is outstanding for several reasons, but first and for most, Trachtenberg’s amazing photographs. Not only does he possess an enviable magic at capturing the perfect shot – he is absolutely hilarious. His humor shines through in many of his photos, but this collection has captions and stories along with most of the shots, making them even funnier. There are a few women included in the shots, and not all of the men are actually Americans, yet he included them all for one reason or the other. The book begins with Trachtenberg being interviewed by friend and editorial director (of People and Entertainment Weekly, for example), Jess Cagle. I found myself laughing out loud several times just during the first few paragraphs of the interview, and things just got better from then on!
Some of the photos are simply remarkable – without any humor implied, and others just completely cracked me up! Besides the fabulous photos and the humor factor, have I mentioned the huge, hardcover coffee table book I now own which is absolutely jam-packed with eye-candy???
Trachtenberg doesn’t just shoot black and white or just color but lets the shoot dictate what exposure and film to use to best represent the feeling and intention of his photos.
I also love that each time I go back and flip through this book again, I notice another picture that really grabs me or I notice another caption or story that is wonderful, funny and often, reveals “inside info” on that celebrity and their willingness to allow Trachtenberg to take hold of the creative reins. He succeeded in showcasing his talent and fantastic imagination regarding staging these photo shoots, as well as, uncovered the celebrities/ silly and goofy sides with stories about their reactions and/or comments to what Trachtenberg would suggest.
If you are a photography fan, and especially a fan of looking at fabulous celebrities in a variety of situations, then this is the next photography collection for you. This is something that will maintain longevity as a conversation starter in your home and has “a little something” for everyone.”
*Thanks so much to Blogging for Books for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All photos displayed in this review are taken from Robert Trachtenberg’s “Red-Blooded American Male.”