Death of a Polaroid – A Manics Family Album

Death of a Polaroid
Death of a Polaroid

“As is so often the case with art-whether music, film, photography or painting-true beauty shines through in the imperfections.” -Nicky Wire

I love books. I’m actually kind of manic about them. (See what I did there?) Sometimes you come across one that is more than just a book. It’s an experience.

Nicky Wire’s Death of a Polaroid A Manics Family Album, is a rich, salient collection of stunning, personal images taken primarily by Nicky Wire and long time group photographer Mitch Ikeda. Almost 300 pages of poignant images sit between its pink covers. The images were chosen from Wire’s massive collection of Polaroids taken over the last 20 years. Wire describes it as “the unfolding and unraveling really, of four young kids that grew up in a bedroom, dreaming of taking over the world.”

A thoughtful foreword written by Wire, opens the book as he describes his ardor for the medium, which is followed by a in-depth conversation with Wire and Jeremy Deller. Deller, is an artist that has worked with the band over the years. In 1997 he put together an exhibit of artwork created by Manics fans entitled The Uses of Literacy. You can check it out here.

In an interview with the publisher, Farber & Farber, Wire stated his love of  Polaroids was due to their “simplicity” and “instantaneous beauty”.

The images are “unplanned randomness”  but placed in an order that creates a visual biography of the band. The majority of band photos are of the three remaining Manics, with Richey Edwards nicely represented in the early pages.

Wire's embellishments of
Wire’s embellishments of “The Everlasting”

The pictures taken by Nicky Wire show his love of the organic and abstract. To Nicky Wire, the Polaroid  “…is perfect for the medium of cataloguing a rock and roll band.” Many of the images embellished by Wire, give the viewer insight to his unique perspective.

This collection  of captured epoch moments in the history of the Manic Street Preachers is as diverse as their music. Like the Manics, it is beautiful, chaotic, and profound. Many of the images are compelling and provocative.

Death of a Polaroid -A Manics Family Album is not a book meant to sit on a shelf. It is an indulgement meant to be savored. As we move deeper into technology and social media, connecting with the rest of the world, a break back into a simpler time acts as a reboot. Nicky Wire may have Killed the Zeitgeist, but not before he preserved it in this book. IMG_2972

If you’d like to have a more thorough look through the book, you can do that here.



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