The Book

Dark Sun
Photographs by Barbara Jaffe
Essay by Lyle Rexer, critic,
scholar, and curator
Book Designer: Linda Florio
ISBN 9780578427331
9 x 12 in. / 80 pages / 39 images
Hardbound cloth cover, silver embossed
with jacket wrap,
Printed End Leaves front & back.

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In his insightful introductory essay, renowned art scholar and critic, Lyle Rexer writes, “Barbara Jaffe has carved out for herself a unique position in the history of photography, exploring in great depth the potential of the negative print.“ 

Dark Sun comprises two bodies of work: Dark Sun and Forest of Ghosts. The photographs in both series are alive with psychological and surreal elements, probing the essential nature of humans and animals in solitary, private moments. A ghostly man walks in front of an otherworldly ocean, a woman examines a large insect with a magnifier that glows in her hand and a standing bear peers into a dark, circular void. The images are mysterious and haunting, a transcendent expedition into a luminous parallel reality.

Using her 4×5 inch view camera and a variety of black & white and pos/neg Polaroid films, Jaffe creates photographs that are a tribute to the disappearing art of film itself. Thirty years of work are now brought together in Dark Sun, a limited edition publication that is itself a beautiful addition to any book collection.

As Jaffe has stated about the reversal of tones in the negative, “This special light describes a space that is strikingly real and yet metaphysical in nature. Therefore, it allows me to explore other issues of concern, the heart of which is the dual nature of reality: spiritual/material, invisible/visible, surface/subsurface.”

Dark Sun is recognized as a significant contribution to the history of photography and an important resource for future generations. It has been acquired by numerous library and archive collections, including Harvard, Yale, NYU, and over 40 others throughout Europe and Asia.


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