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Big Up
Ben Watts

ISBN 9781568984520
Publication date 10/1/2004
7 x 8.34 inches (17.8 x 21.2 cm), Paperback
192 pages, 300 color illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 20; ( 1,184 .0)

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Hip-hop playaz. Street punks. Supermodels. Plenty of tattoos and lots of bling bling. Big Up is a photographic scrapbook of America's raucous youth culture, created by one of the brightest young photographers in the fashion industry. Our limited hardcover edition of this extraordinary document was so eagerly sought that all 1,500 copies were accounted for before we even released the book. Now we're reissuing it--how could we not?--in a handy and inexpensive paperback format that's sure to once again capture the imagination. But don't just take our word for it. Here are what the critics have to say about Big Up:

Big Up, a hectic insider's view of the past dozen years of urban youth culture by London-born, Australian-raised Ben Watts, is too wild and too idiosyncratic to go unmentioned. The spontaneity and verve Watts packs into his pictures are perfectly mirrored in the book's'scrapbook-style design. Cut up, collaged, crayoned, and tagged with markers, the photos feel less like fixed, flattened documents than little time bombs about to explode. This sense of terrific, barely contained energy makes Big Up big fun, and the ideal time capsule for a style moment that just won't quit.--Vince Aletti, Village Voice

British photographer Ben Watts shot some rad pictures of wrestlers for us a short while ago. We were in love with his images then, and we haven't fallen out of love since. Big Up collects a variety of his raw, high-energy hip-hop portraits into one inspiring scrapbook. --Tokion

Ben Watts is a photographer and a regular contributor to Interview, Rolling Stone, New York Times Magazine, Vibe, and Trace, among others. He lives in New York City.


Editorial Reviews

City Magazine:
"Photographer Ben Watts, brother of Aussie actress Naomi Watts, chronicles a decade of style with BIG UP. Re-released in soft cover this fall, BIG UP was inspired by Watts's personal scrapbook, compiled from years of cutting-edge fashion shoots and major ad campaigns. . . . Subjects ranging from hip hop parties to skateboard parks, all in the raw, kinetic style thathas made him one of the world's top photographers."

"...this collection's at its best when Watts pastes together Polaroid outtakes with masking tape, creating collages of pre-teen Irish boxers preparing for their first fight and documenting New York's Puerto Rican Pride parade in candy-colored detail. Originally released as a hardcover late last year, Big Up is now available in a more affordable softcover format, and it provides days worth of cerebral cortex stimulation, not to mention style ideas."
"...Watts' photography works on enough different levels to avoid falling into the celebrity photographer trap. It strips artistic pretension away enough to not feel like an extended exercise in hero worship, while his subjects' various scribbles add enough meta to make BIG UP one sloppy, gorgeous mess. Which is exactly what scrapbooks are supposed to be."

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