Night and Day presents a series of colour photographs by David Armstrong (1954, USA) taken over a period of less than a year during 1979, as he was driving back and forth between New York and Provincetown. Known for his portraits, particularly of young, pretty men, Armstrong is true to form in this work capturing the style and lives of his friends and the scene at the time. With the hard flash of night shots, the excessive use of blush and bright pink lipstick characteristic of the period, and the feeling of freedom in old cars, the work comes across as a time of youth and parties.
Though demonstrations of fondness and affection punctuate the photos of friends enjoying the beach and cutting up cocaine, there is an unrelenting appreciation for style and beauty which drenches the photos in an impossibly excited spirit. In this sense, the combination of documenting friends and daily life with a heavily artistic and editorial view isn’t so far removed from the so-called "lifestyle curating" that is so ubiquitous among today’s youth. Nearly 35 years later though, the photos take on added interest for their strong sense of place and time, as even Armstrong acknowledges. “Different batches of work that I’ve done are interesting now just out of historic interest, which is frightening. You feel like you’re that old,” he says in the text in the book, a conversation with fellow photographer Jack Pierson.
Included in the book is a facsimile of a type-written poem from 1979 by Rene Ricard, who also designed the book’s cover.
Night and Day is available for sale as a limited edition of 1000 copies by Mörel Books.
Mörel Books, 2012