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Portraits 1986-2016

Chris Buck

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  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 9.00" x 13.50"
  • ISBN: 978-0-692-76030-7
  • Publication Date: 2017-02-01
  • Norman Stuart Publishing

Availability: In stock

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Uneasy is a book of Chris Buck’s portraits of the famous, with 338 color and black-and-white photographs, from 1986 to 2016. For three decades Buck has been carving out a unique space in the world of celebrity portraiture, capturing its ineffability--its danger, its oddness, its warped sense of reality. Uneasy constructs a road map of contemporary culture, featuring a wide range of subjects, including many of the most recognizable names today: President Barack Obama, George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix, Lena Dunham, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Louis C.K., Philip Seymour Hoffman, William Shatner, Aziz Ansari, Kristen Stewart, Jay Z, Cindy Sherman, Jimmy Fallon and Donald Trump. Many of his portraits have become the iconic images of these subjects, including Steve Martin, Andy Samberg, Chris Farley, Billy Bob Thornton, and Michele Bachmann.

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"The elements of a classic Chris Buck portrait are instantly recognizable and often unforgettable: bold colors, crisp lighting, and simple yet slightly bizarre scenarios. The Toronto-born and bred photographer has a way of capturing iconic figures in the most unconventional, almost dreamlike settings. It’s hard to imagine Jay-Z working a fast food joint, Gary Oldman with pie on his face, or Billy Bob Thornton pissing on a backdrop (alright, that last one is pretty believable).

"[His] signature uneasiness, more than 300 examples of it, has been packaged in a book aptly titled Uneasy released earlier this year. Each page will leave you A) awestruck, B) scratching your head, or C) wondering why anyone would agree to pose like that." ­— John Lockett, GQ

"He's known for taking portraits that are striking, tossing aside the veneer of celebrity and portraying his subject in ways that seem to strip them down to reveal their humanity. The results are often hilarious and sometimes haunting." — Hans Rosemond, Fstoppers

"If you’re into portrait photography at all, this book is a must for you as Chris Buck is a genius at creating photos that stick in people’s minds. He does so not by using tons of strobes or elaborate Photoshop wizardry (Annie Leibovitz please note). He is a past master at coming up with inventive, offbeat ideas, and his subjects respond perfectly. Gary Oldman is caught with pie on his face. The late and great James Gandolfini, best know for his leading role in the The Sopranos, bends over to reveal his 'best side.' Lena Dunham 'collaborates' with a playground swing set. And Buck reveals a lot of these backstories at the end of the book, adding an extra benefit to what is already an excellent volume." — Michael Weinzetti, Luerzer’sArchivez

"With his off-beat humor and counter-intuitive sensibility, Buck pokes and prods at self-aggrandizing cultures of celebrity and politics. His quick reflexes are on full display…he has no qualms about catching his subjects a little – and occasionally a lot – off guard.

"Among the photographs in Uneasy are several iconic portraits, including Buck’s 2005 photographs of Steve Martin and Steve Carell. But so many of Buck’s portraits stand out, and the collection is notable for its range and variety. He reveals his process through amusing and informative anecdotes about more than 100 of the portraits. Buck plans his shoots, showing up with props and requests, but he also thinks on his feet and leaves things open to chance.

"He gets people to reveal their vulnerability, in part because he’s unafraid to reveal his own. (He seems to delight in recounting some of his most embarrassing moments on set.) Buck also has a lot of moxie, and a keen sense of just how far he can push things. When Barack Obama arrived on set chewing gum, Buck mock-scolded him. During the shoot, he directed the president to give a sidelong look at the camera. Buck recounts: '[Obama] said, ‘I don’t do that.’ I shot anyway. I felt like I’d spent the first 25 years of my career preparing to defy a sitting president to get the shot that I wanted.'”  — David Walker, Photo District News

Chris Buck

Chris Buck was born in Toronto in July of 1964. His father worked for Kodak, so he went into the family business and became a photographer. Chris moved to New York in 1990 and established himself as a sought-after editorial and advertising photographer; his clients include Google, Xerox, Old Spice, Dodge, GQ, The New Yorker and The Guardian Weekend.

Buck has won multiple awards, including being the first recipient of the Arnold Newman Portrait Prize in 2007. His first book, Presence: The Invisible Portrait, published in 2012, was a collection of celebrity photos in which the famous sitters are present, but not visible. Kathy Ryan, Photo Director for The New York Times Magazine, called it a “crazy subversive book.”

He spends much of his free time with his wife Michelle and daughter Olive. He takes his martinis dry, with a twist.