Pop Art


Even if Bruce Weber’s A&F Quarterly work became shamelessly self-parodic toward the end, his fans can’t be happy to have such a regular, accessible outlet for his photographs shut down by conservative bluenoses. But Weber is nothing if not prolific, and if you missed the final Christmas issue of the Quarterly, you might turn to All-American/Family Albums, the third volume of an annual paperbound publication from his own Little Bear Press. Like the previous titles in this series, this one is insanely expensive ($140) and is less about Weber’s work than his sensibility. The result is an eccentric scrapbook of material loosely connected by Weber’s wide-ranging curatorial curiosity: paintings by ’50s abstract primitivist Forrest Bess, photos of Marlon Brando and John Cassavetes by Hollywood documentarian Sam Shaw, lyrics by Phil Ochs and Gram Parsons, and collages by a charming young acquaintance named Joe Coleman. Though Family Albums also includes work by Joel Sternfeld, most of the photographers are little known. But Weber, always generous in his attention to forgotten or undiscovered talents, gives each of them a handsome showcase and springboard. Earlier issues have included photos by William Gedney, Pirkle Jones, and George Daniell; among this year’s discoveries is Ranee Palone Flynn, whose color pictures of teenagers combine tenderness and frankness with an ease that echoes Weber’s own best work.