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As Pete Takeda writes in his short Intro to Gorilla Monsoon, in these twenty short narratives, “John Long made literary action writing over in his own image.” Many were translated into 30 or more languages. “The Only Blasphemy” won a special accommodation from Reader’s Digest, of all things, as, “the real life story of the decade.” If fact most of these narratives (which comprised Long’s first book) initially appeared in “fufu literary rags.” Over time, they became the go-to template for anyone recounting a tight jam, and the archetypal voice of the "extreme sports" phenomenon. From screenwriters aping his style, to professors teaching his stories - no one can quite categorize a John Long narrative, only that “anyone else would go broke trying to write like this. If his later work is Napoleon Brandy, this stuff is Polish vodka. He probably got better,” said Tekada, “but never more potent or exuberant than right here. “
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Not since George Meyer’s iconic Yosemite Climber (1979) has a single volume captured the modern ethos, in word, image and design, of the “Mecca” of world rock climbing: Yosemite Valley. From Skinner and Piana's first free ascent of El Capitan, to Alex Honnold’s free solo ascent of Half Dome, The Valley Climbers: Yosemite’s Vertical Revolution, chronicles the most seminal climbs of the modern era, climbs that revolutionized the face of world rock climbing in particular, and adventure sports in general. Struck to life by fifteen first-person narratives (from Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, Thomas Huber, Steph Davis, Lynn Hill, Dean Potter, Beth Rodden, and others) over a hundred spectacular photographs, and cast in the timeless “museum design” particular to Stonemaster Press. Large format hardback. 168 pages. Forward by John Long, Photos by Dean Fidelman and others. Published and distributed by Stonemaster Press.
The merit, the enchantment of any art is determined by how often we return to it. In the case of Dean Fidelman’s Stone Nudes, to experience these black and white portraits a thousand times is to be cheated. When you open Stone Nudes: Art in Motion, you step onto Prince Housain’s magic carpet, and the view is nonpareil. From the wind swept cerros of Patagonia, to the jungled walls of tropical
We should recognize familiar elements in the eighty-eight duotone images, like the timelessness of Ansel Adams’ landscapes, and the iconic symmetry of Robert Mapplethorp’s nudes. But the Stone Nudes themselves, stripped of artifice and accessories, stand alone, providing a new lens through which to view both the human form and the natural world. But they do not stop there, suggesting fresh takes on perception itself, and in turn, the dynamics of being alive.
“Perfection is just a moment,” says photographer Fidelman. “It’s how the cloud moves through the sky. That means I can take a picture and actually get perfection, then go on to the next perfect image. In this sense, perfection begets freedom. I’m as free as the elements within the frame, which are always a moving target. And that’s what Stone Nudes are about. Perfect freedom.”
Hardcover. Dimensions: 10 by 10 inches. 88 duotone images, 108 pages. Introduction by John Long, plus ten first-person stories by Stone Nude models.
All Books are signed by Dean Fidelman