Lit shorts: ‘Beck’ by the book

Pub date December 7, 2011
SectionPixel Vision

By Autumn de Wilde
Chronicle Books
176 pp., hardcover, $35

For more than a decade and half, pop culture photographer (and video director) Autumn de Wilde has chronicled Beck, the iconic songwriter and her personal friend, on tour, in the studio, and as he’s posed before the camera — the latter especially.

Indeed, in Wilde’s photos we find Beck looking as impenetrably cool as ever. Incorporating fewer candid shots and plenty of showy staged ones — Beck in a white suite; Beck lifting an enormous red egg; Beck surrounded by loosely clad dancers — the collection has few insights into the mythologized songwriter and too many into his eclectic wardrobe. Wilde is a fine photographer, but her photos evoke the same Beck we’ve been looking at for decades. For real insights, look to the front of the book at the conversations between Wilde and Beck, where the two are finishing each other’s sentences and looking back on their collaboration. 

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