Tierney Gearon’s iPhone Alphabet

The Candid Photographer's Spirited Home Movie Ahead of Her First Children’s Book

G is for grumpy girls and J is for jump for joy in today’s effervescent short, courtesy of Tierney Gearon’s iPhone. Spliced with images gathered over the past three years for her new project, Alphabet Book, the film features Gearon’s four kids and their sprightly friends playing dress-up in picturesque locales from Telluride in Colorado to the family’s home in Los Angeles, creating a project Gearon describes as an “art book for children and a children’s book for adults.” The New York Times’ regular embarks on a series of children’s parties in New York, LA and Paris to celebrate the book’s release next month. Her work has long been synonymous with the raw candor and spontaneity displayed here, catching the eye of art impresario Charles Saatchi in 2001, who gave her her much-publiziced debut exhibition I Am a Camera. “You only have one little moment that suddenly comes to life,” says Gearon of her method.

How did you come up with the photographs depicting each letter?
Tierney Gearon
: In the beginning I just started shooting every mask, costume and prop that started with the letter A. And on holiday I would pack tons of fun costumes for the kids, so part of it made me look like the fun mom that had loads of cool things to do. But then anytime I went into a shop the kids would always convince me to buy something else because it would be good for the book.

And hold the children’s attention?
TG:
 We did so much playing! It was like setting up different sets, like you’re doing a commercial. What was great about this project was that I did it together with the children, a collaborative effort.

What books did you love as a kid?
TG: 
I was obsessed with the Joan Walsh Anglund books and still have them. There’s one called Babies are a Bit of Heaven that was amazing. But, of course, there’s Eloise and The Little Prince and Curious George.

Any plans for Halloween?
TG:
I like making things at home but the kids like to buy readymade costumes. So we usually buy lots of different costumes and on Halloween we end up putting a crazy concoction together. The kids go to town!

The Alphabet Book is out November on Damiani with signings at Dashwood Books, New York City November 6 and Colette, Paris November 15.

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Conversations (1)

  • ToddAnthony.org
    Little girl with pasted on expressions and masks steal the show ; ) ...nice!

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