The Pleasure of Seeing

Conversations on Joel Meyerowitz's sixty years in the life of photography



ISBN: 9788862087933 Category:


‘Street photography burst into colour through the pioneering work of Joel Meyerowitz. … a new book charts his sixty-year career from the bustling 1960s new York scenes that made his name to the experiments in landscape photography…’ The Telegraph

‘… has some amazing tales to tell, but the pictures themselves tell their stories equally powerfully.’Collagerie

‘Like his photographs, Joel Meyerowitz’s reveries are perfectly composed, multilayered reflections of the world we live in. Complex yet accessible, they meet you where you are – as does Meyerowitz when he looks back at his journey to become one of the most influential contemporary artists of our time.’Huck

Joel Meyerowitz is one of the pioneers of color photography, as well as an essential reference figure for street photography, large-format photography, and portraits. The Pleasure of Seeing is his first biography, the book offers a look behind the scenes of the life and career of one of America’s photographic living legends. In conversation with historian and photographer Lorenzo Braca, Meyerowitz speaks vividly about his beginnings, studying art history, meeting Robert Frank, photographing on the streets of New York City with Tony Ray-Jones and Garry Winogrand, traveling extensively across America and Europe, learning from John Szarkowski, director of photography at MoMA, working on numerous exhibitions and publications, photographing at Ground Zero in 2001 and 2002, and about the most recent still lifes and self-portraits projects. The book contains over one hundred pictures, including Joel’s most iconic photographs as well as new and previously unpublished material. This comprehensive visual biography testifies to the author’s continuing evolution throughout the six decades of his career and discusses his work in relation to his personal life, to the history of photography, and to the incessant transformation of the medium. Meyerowitz reveals anecdotes, personal memories, and the story behind many of his famous photographs.

Additional information

Weight 1176 g
Dimensions 21.7 x 28.8 cm
Publisher name Damiani Editore
Publication date 21 June 2023
Number of pages 200
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz
Dimensions 21.7 x 28.8 cm
Weight 1176 g


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Joel Meyerowitz (born March 6, 1938) is a street photographer and portrait and landscape photographer. He began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color during a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. In 1962, inspired by seeing Robert Frank at work, Meyerowitz quit his job as an art director at an advertising agency and took to the streets of New York City with a 35mm camera and Colors film. Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge, and Diane Arbus were photographing there at the same time. The fleeting moments of street life in New York City and other American cities that Meyerowitz has captured are some of the earliest and best-known examples of color street photography. Many of his photographs are icons of modern photography, and made Meyerowitz, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, one of the most influential modern photographers and representatives of the "New Color Photography" of the 1960s and 70s.

Lorenzo Braca (born 1977) is an Italian historian and photographer who has published widely on the literature, the mentality, and the imagination of the late Middle Ages. He is currently working for the Catholic University of Milan on research projects concerning Medieval intellectual history. As a photographer, his work is oriented primarily towards the urban environment, its evolution, and the overlooked signs of human presence. Braca's photographs have been exhibited in collective shows since 2016, and in 2021 he had his first solo exhibition. He is now about to publish a book co-written with American photographer Joel Meyerowitz on his sixty-year career.