Julia Reyes Taubman Celebrates the Release of “Detroit: 138 Square Miles”
The book release party for photographer Julia Reyes Taubman, this past Tuesday, celebrated an impressive and captivating collection of photographs of Detroit, Michigan, a photographic study that spanned the course of six years entitled Detroit: 138 Square Miles. Taubman’s fantastic documentation of the 138 square mile metropolis beautifully depicts the rise and fall of magnificent Detroit, chronicling the changing of the landscape and the history of what was formerly known as “Motor City.”
“…there’s a beauty in despair and sometimes a glimmer of hope…If what happened in Detroit is a crime, Julia’s book is the crime story,” writes novelist Elmore Leonard in the preface for Detroit: 138 Square Miles.
We found the photographs fantastic and mesmerizing, with scenes that depicted the old and the new. There is an apparent arc to the story depicted in the book, from the desolation of East Detroit, where old, gutted classic cars sit in front of abandoned buildings, to the new and rebuilt spaces of lavish architecture further west.
“During the war Detroit was known as the arsenal of Democracy, turning out bombers, planes, and all types of combat material. By the war’s end Detroit was a city of two million people hopping street cars to shop down town, no malls in sight yet,” writes Leonard.
One abandoned building in particular is beautifully photographed with icicles hanging from the ceilings inside, because there are no windows. Another photograph of a gorgeous modern home set in a serene wooded area further west depicts the vibrancy of life in Detroit today. Textures, colors, and shadows brilliantly document the ghostly history of Detroit’s past and the rich culture of the present.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is a space that is always a treat to experience. Guests of the event were delighted by an open bar of celebratory champagne and wine while elegant or d’ oeuvres circulated throughout the evening.
A slide show of Julia Reyes Taubman’s fantastic photographs may be viewed at 138 Square Miles.
Images from the evening after the cut (Photo Credit: BFAgency)
By Melanie Meadows