Invented Landscapes of Coney Island and Carnival Ride Attendants

Invented Landscapes of Coney Island and Carnival Ride Attendants
photography by Carlos Diaz forward by A. D. Coleman

Carlos Diaz’s early 1980s carnival worker images and his Invented Landscapes are brought together for the first time in a beautifully presented volume published in 2017 by Obscura Land.

Before digital photography was even a glimmer, Diaz was engaged in an analog form of photo collage, painstakingly layering hand-cut elements from old patent manuals atop photographic images of Coney Island, to create “invented landscapes” that nonetheless speak to reality. -Detroit Free Press

“Diaz’s Invented Landscapes work spans three decades, starting with images he captured in the early 1980s at Coney Island in New York City. Although in today’s world one might think these images were generated digitally, Diaz began creating the Invented Landscapes a decade before Adobe® Photoshop® software was on the scene. The original collages combine silver halide prints with vintage nineteenth-century industrial engravings that he painstakingly cut by hand from books and other printed materials. He then carefully integrated the drawings with the photos to create these fantastical images.

The book includes essays from renowned photo critic, A. D. Coleman, and historian, Mary McNichols, PhD, as well as an artist statement by Diaz.

There are a total of fifty-five plates in this book: thirty-three Invented Landscapes, eleven carnival workers, nine postcards from early twentieth-century Coney Island, and two reproductions of original Coney Island tickets.” –Obscura Land Press release

Carlos Diaz is a former chair of the Photography Department at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI, where he has taught for 37 years. Before taking his position at CCS, Diaz taught at Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan, School of Art (now the Penny Stamps School of Art). Prior to his teaching career, Diaz was a draftsman and mechanical designer in numerous capacities. Diaz has been assistant to Eugene Richards, Mary Ellen Mark and Lee Friedlander. For 40 years Diaz’s work has revolved around his interest in the fluidity of history and memory, the connections between people and place and how race relations impact the world in which we live.

The book is housed in a specially designed slipcase, first published by Obscura Land in 2017, in an edition of 825 copies, copies are signed by the photographer.

$ 39.95