The Photo Book

Phaidon, London, London, 1997

The designer of ‍the 7-Up poster has even included a ‍shadow for the paint roller. Altogether the painted scenery makes a ‍merry commercial assemblage, entertainingly hard to ‍unravel. The key to ‍the story, however, lies in ‍that dark and sinister figure on ‍the left, who seems to be ‍somehow associated with the work in ‍progress in ‍the foreground or ‍perhaps a ‍supervisor or ‍even Pascal, the owner of ‍the van. Walker in ‍the tradition of street photography as ‍evolved in ‍Paris and Berlin in the 1020s and further evolved in ‍New York, believes in the city, painted and placarded, as a ‍source of destabilizing possibilities, capable of dissolving the horror of suburban life. His first and major achievement was New York Inside Out (1984), which was introduced by William S. ‍Burroughs. As Walker himself says, “In the jumbled chaos of New York City where I ‍usually work, I ‍like my pictures to have the crisp, clean colour, the choreography and humour of a Disney cartoon.”

Ian Jeffrey