Thursday, March 13, 2008

Instamatic Karma

As appeared in Tuesday's issue of the New School Free Press

Only one out of every 500 books on the Beatles is going to be worthwhile to read—especially because, according to Amazon, there are over 20,000. In May Pang's Instamatic Karma: Photographs of John Lennon, she manages to find a side of John Lennon that most don't see or think about.

Personal assistant-turned lover for 18 months beginning in 1973, Pang got to see Lennon as both boyfriend and boss, something that shows in her pictures. They're personal yet slightly removed as if she knew she was only there until Yoko's inevitable return (Lennon and Ono broke up earlier that year) and was just happy to be filling the role of stand-in.

Pang's black and white photographs aren't great but certain ones stand out, such as a picture of Lennon floating in the water, looking ghastly white with his eyes closed, or another where he's goofing around and playing the drums.

If you're a die-hard Beatles fan, it's worthwhile to skim through Instamatic Karma; otherwise, probably not.