Black & White: Portrait of James Chance (signed)

Anya Phillips


Edition : First / Tokyo / Vacant / 2015 / Softcover. / Near Fine / Near Fine
Small 4to, Unpaginated (60pp). Printed wraps in slipcase. Text in English. One of 500 copies. This copy signed to front of slipcase ‘contory yourself! james chance’.

During the late 70’s through the mid 80’s in New York City, various combinations of factors such as experimental music, experimental video, performance art, and contemporary art burst forth and gave rise to the No Wave movement. In the middle of the vortex, occurring during that time of freewheeling stage performances and amidst the gathered public attention was the saxophonist James Chance. So too, his manager and lover Anya Phillips, the eponymous co-founder of the legendary nightclub, the Mudd Club, whose huge influence was echoing across the city’s underground culture even as she left the world at the tender age of 26. But really, who was Anya? In that chaotic time in New York City, with its New Wave centered in overflowing anger at commercialism, what manner of things could James and Anya have been seeing, and what kind of thoughts did they embrace in their everyday lives? This one and only book of Anya’s photography uncovers the unknown face of the post-punk legend, which only his inseparable girlfriend could capture in the midst of turbulent times. The title also introduces contributions from Diego Cortez, James’ old friend and Anya’s former housemate, also a co-owner of the Mudd Club. The first to officially use the word ‘No Wave” in a formal context, the very person who curated the New York/New Wave exhibit at MoMA PS1 in 1981, Cortez recalls the fleeting, unforgettable days of James and Anya.