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Josh Brand, Face, 2010–14, mixed media on photographic paper, 6 × 4".

Josh Brand

Misako & Rosen

Josh Brand, Face, 2010–14, mixed media on photographic paper, 6 × 4".

In his 1981 essay “The Cancerous Image,” the writer, critic, and photographer Hervé Guibert narrates the tale of a photograph he stole from someone’s home by hiding it beneath his coat. The purloined image showed an unidentified young man gazing soberly toward his unknown photographer. The writer’s unfolding relation with the print quickly evinces his obsession with and wholehearted belief in photography’s capacity to stir he spirit: “The photograph became the boy and the back of the photograph became the boy’s back. . . . And my affection for it became more and more abstract as the paper became covered with dust. I looked at it without seeing it.”

The anecdote demonstrates how the delineation between index and abstraction can be tenuously guided by memory and desire. In his exhibition “Face,” New York–based Josh Brand presented fifteen photographs made over the past decade. Many

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