Q+A: “Detroit: 138 Square Miles” by Julia Reyes Taubman

Ian Volner – Surface Mag

“Not content to dwell on all-too-well-known landmarks like the city’s former train station, Taubman went further afield, capturing abandoned schools, an old boathouse on Belle Isle, and the industrial wastes of Delray and Zug Island. She talked to Surface about her photos and the little-known side of the town that inspired them.”

Detroit Valentine

Nick Paumgarten- The New Yorker

“‘How do you pick out an architect you like?’
‘Easily. Easily. Easily. You can tell the good ones from the bad ones right away.’ She began to rhapsodize about buildings. The Packard Motor Car plant, Ford’s Highland Park plant, the Michigan Central Station. ‘When I first saw the Packard plant, I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t talking about it every minute of every day.’”

Julie Taubman Has a Fresh Take on Detroit

Michael H. Hodges- The Detroit News

“In attempting to shoot, literally, every single street in the city, she didn’t always have the luxury of waiting for just the right light. But she brings to her work the fresh touch of an outsider, as well as an impressive eye for geometry and composition. If many of these images are mostly documentary, others are simply breathtaking.”

Detroit: 138 Square Miles: Elegance, Rust & Soul

The Book Beat

“Detroit: 138 Square Miles reads like a visual journey through the scarred backsides and forgotten wastelands of humanity, a spiritual quest through small neighborhoods, infernos, architectural gems, seedy bars and secret locations. Photos from a low-flying airplane splash run across the page like exclamation points, revealing powerful rarely seen views of the city, showing in detail the vastness of its rusted arterial and organic nervous system.”

Panic in Detroit Lures Shutterbugs But How Much Ruin Porn Can We Take?

Michael H. Miller- GalleristNY.com

“Ms. Taubman, who moved to Detroit in 1999 and helped found the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, works her camera like a skilled postmodernist works a pen: she is good at casting as familiar the foreign sight of a large, expansive building with a 150-year history that has lost its use value only to become a mere pile of wood and bricks. It is refreshing to view an image of abandonment that feels more documentary than sensational, but it is Ms. Taubman’s photographs of people (so absent from too many chronicles of Detroit) that are the most interesting.”

Book Reveals Detroit’s Decay, Majesty

Laura Berman- The Detroit News

“The end product, the book itself, belies criticism that this is a socialite’s vanity project. It bears sober witness to Detroit’s greatness and its status as forgotten city — authentic, harshly treated, evolving rapidly as its housing stock crumbles and its once-heroic monuments fall to fire, wrecking ball and neglect.”

Julie Reyes Taubman Book Launch with Elmore Leonard at Whitney Museum

Wael Alexander Davis- HauteLiving.com

“Utilizing different physical mediums such as land, air and water, Taubman chronicles the changing landscape as manipulated by nature and time believing it to be more visually compelling than almost any architectural intervention.  She pays particular attention to the scale and the solidity of the buildings that characterized the former “Motor City” at the height of its industrial wealth and power.”

Making Art Out of Strip Poker

Johnny Mishell- Elle.com

“For six years, Taubman focused her energy on documenting the Motor City in a period of transition in over 30,000 photographs. The book is laden with quiet reverence for the city’s striking beauty and offers haunting images of barren playgrounds and crumbling monuments.”