Photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s latest book, Scene, published by powerHouse Books, takes viewers back to 1981 — the year she began taking a series of photographs of the artists and creatives that surrounded her in New York City. Barron was then in her mid-twenties, snapping away at musicians, fellow photographers, film directors, and artists just on the cusp of fame. “I was a bit naïve — taking everyone and everything at face value,” she writes in the introduction to her book. “In a way New York was a bit naïve too, just coming out of the recession but before the art boom that is now so famously remembered. It was a good match.”
In her book, full of black-and-white portraits of people like Kathryn Bigelow, Andy Warhol, Willem Defoe, Bruno Bischofberger, Cindy Sherman, Bianca Jagger, and plenty more, she not only shares her dreamy snapshots from the past but also includes personal tidbits and enlightening recollections written beside the portraits. One particular caption regarding Andy Warhol’s business manager stands out: “I always thought he was gay but then he asked me to spend the night with him one time in Basel. I was a bit surprised. When I politely declined he said, ‘You’re not getting any younger!’ I was 28.” If you’re in New York this Wednesday, Barron will be signing copies of her book at Bookmarc from 6 to 8 p.m. Click through the slideshow for a first look.