Larry Fink: Hands On / A Passionate Life of Looking

Photographs by Larry Fink
Essays by Ash & Graydon Carter, Lucy Sante, Yolanda Cuomo, Stephen Shore, and Daniel Power
Text contributions by Larry Fink

$ 125

Pre-Order from the powerHouse Shop  

Trim Size: 11 x 12.5
Page Count: 432
ISBN: 9781648230462

Pre-order now at the pre-publication price of $95 — and with it a bonus limited edition poster!

Larry’s spirit and manifestos drove this project, our last book with him. He wanted to do a big retrospective; his gallerist Bene Taschen had been suggesting this for a while. Why not get the band back together (Yolanda Cuomo, Larry, and myself), I thought; later that spring, there we were at Yo’s garage studio in scenic Weehawken, looking over the hundreds of pages of miniature sequences of images, arranged by table sections by decades: 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, even a few 20s. Larry had spent the pandemic digging deep into his archive, maybe reviewing his life (knowing some health concerns were now bearing down on him): how in the world had he photographed so much for so long, and the world knowing but a small fraction of three, maybe four bodies of work (besides his spectacular—nay brilliant—association with Grayon Carter’s Vanity Fair for a decade plus)? Yolanda could only parrot, ”I know, I know,” as those assembled in the studio—Jamie, Jonno, myself, and even Larry—walked from table side to table side, then table to table, mouths agape, stunned at the new images we were seeing, or being familiar with them, stunned at the beauty and artistry of Yo’s poetic assembly of images new to the world and those world famous.

The most creative editing sessions I have ever been part of quickly ensued, and we decided to bring in Larry’s writings (if that is the right word, probably more musings/diatribes/jazz word mind poems are probably more like it), and before we knew it, we had 432 pages of perfection. There is nothing I could have changed, or would want to change. This is the book you have now (or will soon-ish have) in your hands: it is the most perfect photo book I have ever done. With Larry’s life complete, my publishing life now is.

— Daniel Power, powerHouse Books founder and publisher

Larry Fink: Hands On / A Passionate Life of Looking is a 432-page encapsulation of Larry Fink’s master photos accompanied by insightful essays from Lucy Sante, Stephen Shore, Graydon and Ash Carter, Yolanda Cuomo, and publisher Daniel Power. Larry Fink: Hands On / A Passionate Life of Looking offers an unprecedented overview of  Fink’s career and his profound influence in the Lisette Model world (under whom he was mentored) on photography and on broader American culture.

Celebrated as a photographer of the people, Larry Fink is known for his impromptu, street-style black-and-white photographs that delve into societal complexities, class divides, and the essence of human connection. Throughout his career, which spanned from the 1950s to his passing in November 2023, Fink documented a broad spectrum of subjects, spanning from the glamorous scenes of Vanity Fair Oscar parties to the streets of impoverished Philadelphia neighborhoods. Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to authentically portraying the human experience across diverse communities.

Larry Fink: Hands On / A Passionate Life of Looking presents a comprehensive exploration of Fink’s remarkable career for the first time. Over his lifetime, Fink meticulously stored his images in boxes, where they often remained forgotten for months or even years. However, during the pandemic, Fink dedicated himself to combing through these boxes with the dream of creating a retrospective of his work: photographs and beat-style poetry. This endeavor gained momentum when Daniel Power, founder of powerHouse Books and a longtime collaborator of Fink, photographers Jonno Rattman and Jamie Cabreza, and art director Yolanda Cuomo joined Fink in his archival journey. They unearthed a trove of unseen treasures, resulting in a meticulously curated 432-page testament to Fink’s unparalleled creativity alongside his trademark jazz poetry.

Fink’s vast repertoire includes photographs of celebrities like Jay-Z and Meryl Streep, protesters marching down streets, and boxers in the ring (Including a look into his other books, Boxing (1998), Runway (2000), Social Graces (2001), Forbidden Pictures (2004), and The Beats (2014)). This book reaches even further by including non-human subjects like intimate portraits of insects in their natural habitat and dead animals grotesquely displayed.  Larry Fink’s distinctive signature – his raw and experimental approach, his spontaneity, his interest in class commentary, and his intimate perspective – are presented in a manner unprecedented in his body of work, applied to subject matter viewers have rarely seen Fink tackle. Each image, painstakingly selected, offers a poignant insight into Fink’s unwavering commitment to his craft and insatiable curiosity about the world.

Pre-order now at the pre-publication price of $95 — and with it a bonus limited edition poster: 


Larry Fink was a two-time National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a professor of photography at Bard College. Fink has had one man shows at The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Musée de la Photographie in Belgium, and the Musee de l’Elysee in Switzerland, amongst others. He showed in galleries regularly in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, France. His monographs Boxing (1998), Runway (2000), Social Graces (2001), Forbidden Pictures (2004), and The Beats (2014) were published by powerHouse Books. Fink’s work has appeared in top publications including Vanity Fair, W, GQ, Detour, New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker.

Fink’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects, whether celebrities, politicians, or everyday individuals, has earned him critical acclaim and established him as a master of the documentary genre. Through his lens, Fink invites us to contemplate the intricacies of the human condition, inviting empathy, introspection, and a deeper understanding of the world around us. Fink passed away at the age of 82 on November 25th, 2023.

Ash Carter is a writer and the Articles Editor at Air Mail. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Air Mail, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Medium, WIRED, Town & Country, USA Today, and more. He lives in Brooklyn.

Graydon Carter is a Canadian journalist who served as the editor of Vanity Fair from 1992 until 2017. He also co-founded, with Kurt Andersen and Tom Phillips, the satirical monthly magazine Spy in 1986. In 2019, he co-launched the weekly newsletter with Alessandra Stanley Air Mail.

Lucy Sante is the author of Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings, Folk Photography, The Other Paris, Maybe the People Would Be the Times, and Nineteen Reservoirs. Her awards include a Whiting Writers Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy Award (for album notes), an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman Center fellowships. She recently retired after twenty-four years teaching at Bard College.

Stephen Shore‘s work has been widely published and exhibited for the past forty-five years. He was the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since Alfred Stieglitz, forty years earlier. He has also had one-man shows at George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art opened a major retrospective spanning Stephen Shore’s entire career. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His series of exhibitions at Light Gallery in New York in the early 1970s sparked new interest in color photography and in the use of the view camera for documentary work.

More than 25 books have been published of Stephen Shore’s photographs including Uncommon Places: The Complete Works; American Surfaces; Stephen Shore, a retrospective monograph in Phaidon’s Contemporary Artists series; Stephen Shore: Survey and most recently, Transparencies: Small Camera Works 1971-1979 and Stephen Shore: Elements. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art published Stephen Shore in conjunction with their retrospective of his photographic career. Stephen also wrote The Nature of Photographs. His work is represented by 303 Gallery, New York; and Sprüth Magers, London and Berlin. Since 1982 he has been the director of the Photography Program at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where he is the Susan Weber Professor in the Arts.

Yolanda Cuomo, graduated Cooper Union with a BFA. She currently resides in Weehawken, NJ. Cuomo is an experienced art director and avid educator. Cuomo works collaboratively with her clients and artist friends, which include, Richard Avedon, Paul Simon, Twyla Tharp, Laurie Anderson, Gilles Peress, and Sylvia Plachy to develop memorable and meaningful cultural and commercial projects. She has also worked with globally known publications and museums such as Aperture Magazine, Life Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, and The Whitney Museum. Cuomo also teaches courses on design and book-making in the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

Daniel Power is the publisher of powerHouse Books, which he founded in 1995; its first duotone book printed in Italy was Larry Fink’s Boxing. It’s at that point that the rocketship left the launch pad.