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Carl Johan De Geer, Long Live the Large Family

Born in 1938, Carl Johan De Geer is a Swedish artist, musician, writer and baron who, in true aristocratic style, grew up in a castle. In the 60s, he renounced his bourgeois life and became involved with left-wing politics. He made seditious paintings that got him in trouble with the police, played the trombone in a progg-band and edited a radical countercultural zine called Puss (which drew inspiration from the British magazine Oz).

De Geer also had what Johan Kugelberg describes as an O.C.D. relationship with his Leica M4, almost always carrying one, ever-ready, at his hip. Throughout the 60s and 70s, de Geer photographed his friends sleeping, eating, making love, and generally living their lives in crumbling Stockholm houses furnished with handmade textiles and makeshift beds.

Long Live the Large Family (2010) incorporates the original grid composites from De Geer’s super rare book MED KAMERAN SOM TROST (The Camera as Consolation) (1980). The images are from sample prints, and De Geer’s annotations are visible along their white margins as well as the scratches and scuffs that accumulate over time.

The photographs in Long Live The Large Family are filled with Fauvist pattern and sensorial quality: interiors decorated with painted wallpaper, Matisse prints and improvised wall drawings provide the backdrop for plates of steaming sausages and sauce, the wafting of cigarette smoke, pianos and accordions being played, telephone conversations or laughter at the punchline of a joke. De Geer also captures intimate moments of tendresse and thoughtfulnesss – a couple lie in crumpled bedsheets together, young bohemians sit amongst garden grasses, a pregnant woman pauses whilst she’s washing the dishes.

This copy is in fine condition. From an edition of 250. 

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Carl Johan De Geer, Long Live the Large Family - Claire de Rouen Books
Carl Johan De Geer, Long Live the Large Family - Claire de Rouen Books
Carl Johan De Geer, Long Live the Large Family - Claire de Rouen Books
Carl Johan De Geer, Long Live the Large Family - Claire de Rouen Books