PRE-ORDER: THE BOOK WILL BE SHIPPED AT THE END OF MAY.
After Joseph-Philippe Bévillard moved from the United States to Ireland at the beginning of the new millennium, he took a taxi from Shannon airport. Within minutes of the trip, he got his first glimpse of the world of Irish Travelers (also known as Mincéirs). Witnessing his effervescent spirit and nomadic lifestyle captivated Bévillard and ignited something personal in him. A seed was planted that, many years and many friendships later, would change his course and his life as an artist, and lead to his most defining and celebrated work, presented here, for the first time, in book form. In the tradition of the great documentary photographers he admires, Bévillard has a knack for turning chaotic real-life situations into superbly composed images. At other times, in striking portraits, the photographer's lens meets the honest and powerful gaze of their subject(s). The photographs are often saturated with bright colors that provide an attractive contrast to the often gray Irish skies, or to the often drab makeshift backgrounds at various resorts and social housing estates. Beyond their photographic qualities, however, each of the 90 fluidly sequenced plates at Mincéirs sheds "clarity on this unique part of Irish heritage and shines a light of respect on a group of people who continue to fight for recognition and visibility", as the writer Peggy Sue Amison asserts in her insightful essay presented at Mincéirs. Bévillard documents everyday life, as well as weddings, funerals, Catholic ceremonies, and holidays. In doing so, a universal chord is also struck, as the photographs address broader themes that are common to the human experience: the wonders and struggles of childhood, the nature of play, coming of age, gender roles, the family and the role of childhood. animals in relation to humans. In the end, it is Bévillard's compassionate nature and discerning eye that make for a poignant, genuine, and humanistic debut monograph.