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Christopher Makos' 'White Trash' Book Review

"Good music, good fashion and interesting lifestyle is always relevant. Good style never is outdated. Good lasts forever. That is the lesson that other people need to learn, I have always known it." - Christopher Makos

The organic and semantic problem of decadence is its capacity to bore; an absence of vitality, no matter how stylishly served, puts one on the nod faster than a freshly rolled one right before bedtime. Christopher Makos, photographer to the beautiful catatonics of the 1970s, assembled a not-uninteresting and widely selling collection of New Wave photo scenes.

Christopher Mako's White Trash

Makos revitalized his original efforts and republished the book as White Trash Uncut. With the hindsight of four decades and adding a number of important people to the already packed pages of famous faces included in his original book, Makos has improved upon his own masterpiece.

Punk Photographer Christopher Makos

He was a superb photographer. His pictures of Tom Verlaine, are real class. Bowie was eerie and compelling. Iggy, on the other hand, the most staggeringly erotic performer we had and by general consensus the godfather of the whole mess. There's was so much beauty and vitality on the punk/new wave scene. Makos' gifts, he apprenticed with Man Ray, were the perfect compliment to the graphic nature of the movement.

Lots of the information is obviously dated, but something about the synthesis of the copy and the photography makes one feel like they are looking through contemporary pop culture, to the roots of its existence. Makos' claimed that his camera was a knife, and photography was an act of violence, evidenced by how the book still impeccably slices through time and pulls us back into it. It is that impassioned intensity of the performer's lives, captured through his lens, that immortalized the decade.

1970s Icon Photographer

From an Interview with Huck Magazine in 2014

Q: What attracts you to punk?

A: I have no attraction to punk, I have attraction to people and the way they live their lives. Punk was a moment defined by the moment in the 70′s, by music, fashion, culture.

Did you have any sense that the people you photographed in the 1970s would become such huge icons today?

I always live in the moment, so the idea of huge icons, doesn’t really resonant with me. I photograph people, whether they are huge stars, or a person on the street. They are all special to me.

How did it feel to revisit White Trash after so many years?

I realized that my photographs have the same importance as they did then. My style is that of democratizing people, and it still holds true. It was a great pleasure to revisit the past, and to realize it has become part of my present.

Is punk still relevant today? If so, what are the most valuable things to learn from the punk of the 70s?

Good music, good fashion and interesting lifestyle is always relevant. Good style never is outdated. Good lasts forever. That is the lesson that other people need to learn, I have always known it.

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Christopher Makos' 'White Trash' Book Review
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