Actor, Walking Dead
Every photograph is in some way autobiographical, as its composition and content all depend on the eye and the mind of the taker. But I would suggest not attempting this with these images. I first met Norman on a blistering hot Georgia day four years ago. I have been trying to pin him down ever since and he has constantly eluded me. He is one of those rare human beings (if indeed he is one), that continues to surprise you the more you get to know him. These photos are capricious. One moment brutal, the next beautiful, sexual, and vulnerable in equal measure. In the blink of an eye, innocence turns to experience and everywhere there are masks…Some of the most liberating and exuberant photos involve masks. But my favourite images are playful and bewitching. I had never met a Norman until Mr. Reedus appeared in my zombie apocalypse. He was my first Norman after 39 years on this planet. And so, as Barry White so eloquently put it…Norman is, “my first, my last, my everything.” “Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?” — Bette Midler
Singer, Sonic Youth
Tough, bruised, sexy, sweet…how do you live with what others project onto you. The actor’s body is a gateway to emotions and feelings, ideas, stories…real, pretend, re-envisioned, enhanced by our suspended disbelief within the dark room of a theater on the big rectangle or the small rectangle of the tv screen. The self-portrait of Norman Reedus is the first image that appears in the book. I don’t know him. Like anyone looking thru this book. I don’t know if the bruise around his eye is from the motorcycle accident that left him with a titanium eye socket, or if it’s a moment off set, in character. His eyes… look at the camera so he could be in a scene… not giving anything away but it begs the viewer to engage with him. Photographs can never record the moment because the point of view of the photographer will always be in the way. It’s not flat, it’s round and moving and has legs, and the sun went behind the clouds and made a pattern on the ground. Norman knows how to use the flat surface. He imbues it with the physicality that he knows as an actor, the spatial sense when you’re moving around in that rectangle. The spontaneity of live action next to the STILLness of death, fake, stuffed…real. Models, actors, and a very real Mingus, his SON. The banality of beauty mixed with melancholy, whether it’s of a landscape foregrounded with barbed WIRE, the song in his head, the pleasure that’s just beyond reach, woman on the screen, the TRUTH that’s about to be revealed. And then FUCK the truth behind the mask, the old face, carnival face, animal masks, HORROR filled bloody woman, FOX, WOLF, DOG, FIRE. It’s just a MOMENT or is it?
I’ve always thought Norman has sexy eyes, the sleepy sexy eyes. Millions of us watch him take aim with a crossbow to shoot Zombies with such astounding accuracy that we feel deep gratitude for his talents. So those sleepy sexy eyes are piercing as well as pretty and I know you will agree with me when you look at what else he’s been shooting…
Musician and Producer
A collection of photographs is a document of moments, sometimes a collection of dots. My moments with Norman over the years, sometimes planned, sometimes off the cuff, have been a great colour to my life…and always when I have been with him he has a camera in his hand. I love this habit he has formed over the years and I am… happy he has decided to share these moments with all of us. When I look at this collection of Norman’s photographs, I see Norman’s love, his joy, his blood, and his heart. I see death and then I see life. Most of all I see Norman.