PowerHouse Books : Kali : Artographer

The discovery of never-before-seen works of art—vivid, psychedelic, texture-treated, and intensely colorful photographic prints and Polaroids—of a 1960s runaway housewife named Joanna Archibald of Long Island, is reborn in Palm Springs, passing through Malibu, as kali.

Joan Archibald left her home and family on Long Island in 1966 and escaped to the West Coast to reinvent herself as Kali and study photography at the College of the Desert in Palm Springs. After assembling the likes of Richard Chamberlain in Malibu, he moved into a Palm Springs home once owned by Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, and began creating “Artography” in earnest: haunting portraits and double-exposure landscapes made with film, set in his Roman tub, and finished hand-coloring with dyes, spray paint, and even dirt and bugs, in his pool. She made intensely colorful, painterly, psychedelic prints for themselves and, later, Polaroids, rarely seen outside of a closed circle (one muse was teenage Cindy Sherman). She published a few pieces in photography magazines, but in the late 1970s she locked the work in suitcases in her garage, never to be seen again for more than 40 years.

Kali’s daughter, cleaning the house after his death, discovered the work and then some: journals and journals of photos from CCTV monitors, copied and illustrated with diagrams, drawings, and coded notes: she had been homebound for years , convinced that aliens and supernatural beings were visiting her, scaring and tormenting her, perhaps trying to make contact.

The discovery of the work by Kali’s daughter, Susan Archibald, and her ex, Len Prince, is billed as a West Coast take on Vivian Maier’s discovery, and a limited-edition release of a four-volume set. of the work (Matt Tyrnauer essay monograph, Portraits and Landscapes, Polaroids, and Outer Space) was published to great acclaim Fall 2021 in an edition of 600 (Kali Deluxe Edition, powerHouse Books).

Assembled here for the first time in a book of commercial photography, Kali’s prodigious output, rarely seen in the ’60s and ’70s and then locked away for 40 years, is none other than “California’s Vivian Maier,” according to Matt Tyrnauer. in his important essay in this new book.

The museum’s first major exhibition showcasing Kali’s work will open at the Columbus Museum of Art on September 10, 2022 and run through March 12, 2023, and will travel thereafter.

About the authors:
Matt Tyrnauer is a director, writer, and journalist whose films include Valentino: The Last Emperor; Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood; Study 54; and Where’s My Roy Cohn? As a general editor and special correspondent for Vanity Fair, he has contributed to many notable articles and has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, and L’Uomo Vogue. He is a native of Los Angeles.

Len Prince is an American photographer whose work includes portraits of film, dance and music legends, fashion, nudes and urban landscapes. Publications include About Glamor (1997), Make Over Your Man (2001), Remembering Marvin Hamlisch (2016), as well as numerous etchings and interviews in Vanity Fair, Interview Magazine, Essence, and Paper Magazine. Prince’s focus on theater and entertainment photography has led to campaign work for several Broadway stage productions, including The Graduate with Kathleen Turner, Jason Biggs and Alicia Silverstone, and Chicago with Gretchen Mol, Usher, Brooke Shields, Mel B , among others. His work is in the Getty Museum and the Emory University Archives. Prince resides in upstate New York.

Kali: Artographer
By Matt Tyrnauer and Len Prince
published by Power House Books
Hardcover, 8.25 x 10.75 inches, 224 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64823-021-9, $50.00 US / $70.00 CAN

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