'American Fair' — Pamela Littky documents an enduring tradition

The essence of the American fair has not changed much over the past century. As the social and cultural fabric of the United States has evolved considerably, the fairs continue to draw attendance from wide swaths of the heartland, providing a place for far-flung citizens of a county or state to maintain community and celebrate elements of their culture that recall some of the most nostalgic American ideals. Pamela Littky traveled thousands of miles across the country capturing the sights of these important seasonal markers for so many communities. Idyllic portraits of farmers and rope-and-ride spectators accompany portraits and tableaux that evoke undertones of apprehension and uncertainty. There are elderly faces that have seen many seasons of the fair, and there are the youth who project determination or innocence underneath adolescent postures. The result is a breathtaking collection of photographs where wistful reflections on the past meet the challenging realities of American life in the 21st century.

Los Angeles photographer Pamela Littky has been producing award-winning, iconic images of high-profile personalities for more than 15 years. Spontaneous and disarming, intimate and unpretentious, her portraits capture well-known subjects in seemingly unguarded moments. Littky’s unique relationship to her subjects and sense of humor have left an indelible imprint on her work. In between shoots of world-famous actors and musicians for top commercial and editorial clients, Littky pursues personal projects that show a decidedly less glamorous but equally compelling side of American culture. Her work has been shown in various exhibitions around the world.

American Fair (Kehrer Verlag, March 13, 2018) , is Littky’s third monograph. Her first monograph, Vacancy (Kehrer Verlag, 2014), is about the communities in two small towns at opposite sides of the Mojave Desert. Her second book, the Villa Bonita (Kehrer Verlag, 2016), is a portrait of the legendary apartment complex and its residents in the heart of Hollywood. Littky’s work has been published in many noted publications, including the New York Times, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, the Telegraph, Photo District News, Newsweek, Hyperallergic, Mother Jones, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others.

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