Forman’s poetic and inscrutable bits-and-pieces portraits give us as much as any history truly can: a series of discreet and questionable revelations, a public figure in figurine. — Emily Kiernan, Giant Reader.
After stumbling upon a wooden box containing a complete set of miniature wax mold figurines of US presidents at a flea market, artist Alex Forman began photographing each little man, minus their pedestals. Presented for the first time in book format, Forman’s elegant black and white portraits are accompanied by brief biographies composed entirely of appropriated texts cleverly cut and reassembled by the author. What emerges in Tall, Slim & Erect: Portraits of the Presidents is not the tired tale of legendary men and their mythical quest for democracy, but rather, a gossip’s dream: Jefferson could not ride a horse for months due to boils on his backside; Hayes felt a crazed and tender devotion to his sister Fanny; Wilson remained a virgin until twenty-eight. While playfully shedding light on these powerful men, their quirks, bodily functions, and stained sheets, Tall, Slim & Erect ultimately asks the reader to question how history is written and built on hearsay, conjecture, rumor, and repetition.
This title is released as an open access second edition as part of punctum’s Special Collections project.
Alex Forman, a.k.a. Alexandra Joy Forman, has discovered many heroes, but none greater than her young adult daughter. They live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Alex is the co-founding director of a non-profit organization, The Urca Institute, which records life stories for human rights and environmental justice. She is also a literary translator.
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