From Vince Aletti’s article for Photograph Magazine:
Speaking of faces that hold the frame, here’s boxer Mike Tyson, the subject of Lori Grinker’s terrific new book from powerHouse. Grinker, an editorial photographer best known for her 2005 book on wounded vets, Afterwar: Veterans From a World in Conflict, met Tyson at the beginning of his career, in 1980, and early in hers, when she began spending weekends in his mentor Cus D’Amato’s Catskills home and training camp. She describes Mike as “a shy teen, exceedingly polite,” who didn’t like being photographed at first, but who understood the importance of image once he started winning matches at 19. A year later, when he became the WBC world champion, Grinker was ringside, and she remained in his inner circle until 1991, after the collapse of his marriage to Robin Givens, when he turned increasingly erratic and unreliable. The book tracks all this history, both private and public, from a uniquely insider point of view, but the bigger Tyson got, the more Grinker became just another paparazzi battling for access. For anyone hoping to get past the performance of celebrity, the early pictures, before the fame turned toxic, are the best. But there’s great work throughout the book, and whenever Grinker gets Tyson alone, he still lets down his guard with her, however briefly. When they part ways, we’re ready to move on, too. Enough damage has already been done; we don’t need to see the entire train wreck.
Browse the Exhibition “Lori Grinker | Mike Tyson” at CLAMP
Browse all of Lori Grinker’s work at CLAMP