New York: JMc & GHB Editions, 2008. Limited Edition. Hardcover. "JMc & GHB Editions has announced their forthcoming publication, James Frey’s Wives, Wheels, Weapons. Published as a companion volume to Frey’s latest novel, Bright, Shiny Morning (Harper Collins, 2008), Wives, Wheels, Weapons is an artist’s book which excerpts three stories, “Wives”, “Wheels”, and “Weapons” from Frey’s novel and presents them alongside a photo essay response by photographer Terry Richardson. Both writer and photographer are known for their fascination with the seamier side of life so not surprisingly the results of their collaboration are more than a little provocative.
Against the murky backdrop of the city’s one-night stand hotels and pornographic sub-culture “Wives” relates the tale of a sex-driven affair between a congressman’s wife and a high school teacher. The U.S. edition of Bright Shiny Morning will not carry the steamy “Wives” vignette but it will be included in the forthcoming U.K. edition. “Wheels” follows the rise of the car-dominated culture of L.A., the development of the surrounding super highway infrastructure, and the emergence of illegal late night car racing introducing us to the mysterious figure of the “racemaster”, orchestra or of these illicit nocturnal do-or-die contests. “Weapons” explores the complicated culture of gangs and crime, their initiation rites, power hierarchies and ruthless strategies, as well as describing a genealogical topology of former and current gangs of L.A.
Balancing on a knife-edge of sustainability, Frey’s L.A. is an apt symbol of contemporary Western mores and the dilemma of the 21st Century urbanite. Hovering, however, above the dismaying, profane facts of urban existence is the grand spectral romance of citification, the dream of civilized, streamlined, functional mass co-habitation, a fallen yet potent ideal.
Photographer Terry Richardson’s spirited images discover this idealism in a typically bold and colorful style. The mood is defiant, the sitters resilient and self-assertive. Here the “Wives” and mothers – a selection of women that might be lewdly characterized by the acronym MILFs – show an insistence on the sexual self amidst the routines of domesticity, an assertive response to the annihilating mores of impersonal social decorum. Richardson’s “Wheels” documents the exuberant culture of automobile customization, in contrast to the grim tedium of what most urban travel essentially demands. “Weapons”, while documenting styles and postures of gang members, invokes the dream of personal empowerment and the ideals of success born out of the ghettoes of desperation and failure." (from copyleft.com). Fine in Fine DJ and Slipcase. Tight, bright and unmarred. DJ bright and clean. Tan cloth boards, burnt umber ink lettering, mustard endpages; mustard slipcase. 4to. 100pp. Illus. (color and b/w plates). Issued in an edition of 2000 copies; consisting of a wraps issue of 1000 (DJ by Terry Richardson) and a hardcover issue of 1000 (DJ by Richard Prince). Signed by Frey, Richardson, and Prince. Item #7965