First published in 2005 by Steidl
Softcover, OTA-bound 28.5 x 22 cm
Sequencing and cover design by Padraig Timoney
For 25 years Tom Wood lived in New Brighton, just across the river Mersey from Liverpool. He became known locally as “photie man” because every day he was out on the streets with his camera. Most of the pictures collected together in this book were taken within 5 minutes walk from Wood’s home.
The work focuses on the inhabitants of the town and its regular visitors, from Liverpool day-trippers to clubbers who attended the Chelsea Reach nightspot. Wood’s images are a dazzling selection of cocky youths, friends, lovers, fathers, mothers and babies that provide insight into the area, its inhabitants and the rites of passage inherent in growing up.
“Tom Wood’s Photie Man (Steidl) is a mid-career collection that should help spread the word on this terrific but under-recognised British photographer. Working primarily on the street and in the pubs and clubs, Wood achieves an intimacy with his subject that’s at once rude and tender... no matter where he is Wood’s work always feels so loose, instinctive, and dead-on ...
Vince Aletti, Photograph, July/August 2005
“Photieman displays the heart and soul required to do justice to a city (Liverpool)... Wood’s pictures both celebrate and undermine Scouser archetypes. Catching the pulse of the city at play, they breathe a powerful life and unerring humanity into stock urban clichés.”
Irvine Welsh, Sunday Telegraph Magazine, London 15/5/2005
“I have followed his work over the years and I’m not surprised at the international reputation he is gaining. But what seems to me more important than this, is his capacity to enter, as an artist, into the profound, popular, often inarticulate but deeply human life of the people in the place he chooses to work in. He has ‘protected’ a Merseyside that is now eloquent and forever unloseable!”
John Berger, 2004