Mike Mandel is best known for his project Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, as well as his collaborations with the late Larry Sultan. Mandel employs conceptual structures and social commentary underneath a playful presentation. For the Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, Mandel traveled across the US in 1974, posing 134 photographers and curators as ball players, and photographing them. Participants included famous figures (Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, William Eggleston, Ed Ruscha, John Szarkowski) as well as lesser-known artists. Cards were made of each participant, and included "stats" such as height, weight, home, favorite camera and a personal statement. The original cards were sold in packs of ten.
This boxed collection--published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies--contains facsimiles of Mandel's original publications, long out of print, including the Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards, Myself: Timed Exposures, Seven Never Before Seen Portraits of Edward Weston, plus previously unpublished work such as Motel Postcards, People in Cars and Mrs. Kilpatric, and ephemera from the projects, including selected facsimile contact sheets from the baseball photo shoots, a letter to Mandel from Charis Wilson regarding Edward Weston and a pack of ten of the original 1975 baseball cards.
Mike Mandel (born 1950) is an artist who has been working primarily with photography since the early 1970s. He teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is a recent visiting lecturer in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. A retrospective of his work is scheduled for 2017 at SFMOMA.
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