The Men in the Cities series made Robert Longo famous in the 1980s: larger-than-life drawings of sharply dressed businesspeople writhing in contortion under the impact of an invisible, obviously violent power, a sort of death dance of the modern man. Powerful icons that, as Longo said, "exist somewhere between movies and monuments". Men in the Cities, created between 1977 and 1983, is also an early attempt in merging the diverse fields of Longo's artistic practice: sculpture, drawing, photography, and film.
Longo first appropriated images from magazines, newspapers, and movie stills. Later he began to use his friends as models, among them Cindy Sherman, Gretchen Bender, Brooke Alexander, Larry Gagosian, and Glenn Branca, posing and photographing them himself. He would bring them up on the roof of his New York City loft, rig up ropes to them, throw rubber balls, rocks, and other objects at them to make them jerk, fling or fall--and take their picture.
This book presents the photographic source material to Men in Cities, featuring 94 photographs taken by Robert Longo.
Cindy Sherman, herself an internationally renowned artist and close friend of Longo's since their studies at the State University College, Buffalo, wrote a personal foreword. The images are accompanied by an interview with Robert Longo, conducted in 1987 by the author and screenwriter Richard Price.
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