Foreword by James Wolcott
There are nearly two million conventions, conferences, and trade shows each year in the United States, and each offers the opportunity for like-minded people to congregate, bond, and express themselves. Conventional Wisdom chronicles photographer Arthur Drooker’s travels to the quirkiest of these conventions, including gatherings for mermaids, furries, Santas, and fetishists, and the overarching expressions of community, culture, and connection.
Venturing behind the scenes, Drooker goes deep into the heart of these often zany subsets of American popular culture. In fact, for the weekend duration of most conventions, the outside world doesn’t even exist. His humorous and insightful text, including intimate interviews with attendees, complements the stunning photographs he took over a three-year period. From the ballrooms to the vendor rooms to the guest rooms, his ubiquitous camera captures the essence and exuberance of these annual gatherings.
Arthur Drooker is the author and photographer of American Ruins, Lost Worlds: Ruins of the Americas, and Pie Town Revisited. His work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and has toured museums, including the Virginia Center of Architecture, and the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. He Lives in Mill Valley, California.
James Wolcott is the culture critic for Vanity Fair. He has also written for Esquire, The New Yorker, and Harper’s Magazine. His books include Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York and Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades, and Hurrahs, which won the 2014 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. He lives in New York, New York.
192 pages; 10 1/4 x 11"; hardcover;
94 4/c and b&w photographs