Paul Graham’s Does Yellow Run Forever? is a year or two old now, so you may already know all about it, but I’m a bit behind I guess. I became aware of Graham’s work following the review of his 2015 show at Pier 24 and its associated, excellent catalog, so it’s understandable that I missed it and equally understandable that it was on its way to me within minute of stumbling across Lewis Bush’s review at Disphotic.
There are three sorts of pictures in Does Yellow Run Forever?, arranged in a particular, repeating pattern: rainbows, a dark-skinned sleeping figure, and pawn shop storefronts. Following Graham’s previous work in the United States, a commentary on the American Dream seems obvious, but after a bit of research, it turns out that the rainbows are from Ireland, the sleeping figure is Graham’s partner Senami as she sleeps in various parts of New Zealand, and the pawn shops are all in New York City. So it can’t be as simple as all that.
Shame on me, but I’m not going to go any deeper into it. Lewis Bush at Disphotic, Allie Haeusslein at photo-eye, Jörg M. Colberg at CPH and others have more thorough (and somewhat conflicting) remarks, and they do a pretty good job of covering the angles.
The book itself is a beautiful and precious little jewel: yellow velvety cover, gold-edged pages, high gloss varnish on the photographs. It’s right in line with Mack and their excellent production values, and the production adds to the reading. The photographs themselves are equally stunning: the landscapes and streetscapes are brilliantly colored, lush and vibrant, and the photographs of Senami are tender and gentle.
The concept is maybe a bit simple and heavy handed (or way above my head), but beautifully done. The content is all Paul Graham excellence. And the Design is Mack at its best. Overall, Does Yellow Run Forever? gets a solid 4.5.