Charles Bukowski, the dirty old man of American literature whose poems and prose are closely interwoven with his life – how does one go about portraying a person like that? In 1985, the young photographer Abe Frajndlich took on this challenge. We can say this much: it was not a job that could be accomplished in one shot. The Shooting presents a photographer’s attempt to zero in on a legend.
“That face!” Glenn Esterly exclaims in his essay “The Pock-marked Poetry of Charles Bukowski” included in this volume. Everything fascinating about this monumental author is concentrated in his “look”, as impressively demonstrated by the photographs of Abe Frajndlich, many of them previously unpublished. Portraying Bukowski in color and black and white, he gained the writer’s confidence to the point that he was eventually invited to the wedding of Bukowski and Linda Lee Beighle. Telling the story of this meeting, the publication reproduces the various portrait series, culminating in the photographs of the wedding.