John Gossage: The Nicknames of Citizens



ISBN: 9783958295483 Category:

John Gossage


The Nicknames of Citizens continues John Gossage’s astute, critical and witty look at his native America; it is the third volume in his ongoing exploration of the country and its people, following Should Nature Change (2019) and the upcoming Jack Wilson’s Waltz. Whether in California, Indiana or New York, whether his subjects are young artists, non-descript suburbia or a dirt road, Gossage’s approach is the same. “Nicknames,” he writes, “are mostly a second naming of a person after their true character is known. When a child is born the parents choose a name, if it fits all the way though life it is a lucky guess. Picture-making (mine at least) seems to me like trying to find the correct nickname for something I’ve found existing in the world and photographed. This book and these pictures make that attempt with the country of my birth and its citizens. It will be up to the viewers to decide if the names stick. To be continued…”

I woke up this morning and I sprung to my feet / I went into town on a whim / I saw my father in the streets / At least I think it was him. Bob Dylan

Additional information

Weight 1014 g
Dimensions 24.9 x 29.6 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 19 August 2020
Number of pages 144
Format Hardback
Dimensions 24.9 x 29.6 cm
Weight 1014 g
John Gossage, born in New York in 1946 and now residing in Washington, D.C., studied with Lisette Model and Alexey Brodovitch in 1960-61. In the late 1960s he learned Telecaster guitar from Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton, leaving professional music in 1973 to return to photography. Between 1974 and 1990 Gossage exhibited at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York; since 1990 he has concentrated almost exclusively on publications, producing over 20 titles. His books with Steidl include The Thirty- Two Inch Ruler (2010), Looking up Ben James - A Fable (2018) and Should Nature Change (2019).