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BOOKS: Ben Watts' Hip-Hop Scrapbook

Published on .

Big Uppercut?
Watts' Stacks. New York-based, London-born and Australian-raised photographer Ben Watts' limited-edition hardcover Big Up — billed as "a photographic scrapbook of America's raucous youth culture" — is being reissued by Princeton Architectural Press (www.papress.com) as a $35 paperback. Besides an array of hip-hop playaz and punks, there are enough boxers and wrestlers on hand to make a Sports Illustrated coffee table book. As for the look of the book, as the Village Voice noted, "The spontaneity and verve Watts packs into his pictures are perfectly mirrored in the scrapbook-style design. Cut up, collaged, crayoned, and tagged with markers, the photos feel less like fixed, flattened documents than little time bombs about to explode."
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