Rababy, Michael

California Love – A Visual Mixtape

Rababy, M (2020) California Love – A Visual Mixtape. Location: Cali Editions

This popped up on L’Œil de la Photographie on 19th March 2021. I’d order a copy today if I had the £50 to hand. L’Œil links only last a day so I am hastily compiling this extract.

Here’s the blurb:

Michael Rababy makes wonderful books. His first one, American Bachelor was a loving look at the messy, complicated, hedonistic, thoughtless/thoughtful lives of young singles at the turn of the 21st century. His latest book, California Love – A Visual Mixtape features him as curator rather than photographer and it’s filled with the work of 110 photographers all looking at the phenomenon that is modern day California. Filled with fresh images and salient quotes from across the literary landscape this is a book to savor slowly.

In his introduction Rababy writes “growing up in lebanon, my father would dream of america. Once he got here, the dream became california. I was born in Ohio and remember hearing about weird and crazy californians. They were mysterious, plastic people far away at the end of the country who ate avacados”. His choices for the book embrace that vision, but a larger one too. The California of emigrant culture, of a hundred subcultures, of California as an exemplar of an aging ideal, a great melting pot, a stew of cultures and people, landscapes and streetscapes, the America of possibility.

The book is subtitled A Visual Mixtape. It is a collection of his personal favorites, the work of friends and colleagues, the images selected with emotion leading concept and they work well together. The quotes interwoven between the pictures illuminate the images by juxtaposition rather than by original intention and that is by design. Rababy has a fine sense for this, pictures reflecting into words and vice versa bringing a bigger picture into focus. 

Andy Romanoff, L’ŒIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE,  MARCH 19, 2021

Images with the review

  1. Rush Valera
  2. Alex Body Shop, 1982, Ave Pildas
  3. Dinosaur. Cabazon. December 2, 2012, Bill Leigh Brewe
  4. The Television Will Not Be Revolutionized, Bob Zahn
  5. Birland, Cat Gwynn
  6. Pool 12, Craig Robbins
  7. ANGLE, Daniel Grant
  8. Justin’s Rainbow, Ed Valfre
  9. Jamie on the Overpass, Elizabeth Bailey
  10. That Smile, Ellen Friedlander
  11. Endemic Treasure Color #1, Fred Brashear Jr.
  12. Rozwell, Jaimie Trueblood
  13. Jesus Saves, Jerry Weber
  14. Sam Dance, Jerry Weber
  15. Mesquite Dust Storm, Jody Miller
  16. Justin Gaar
  17. Justin Gaar
  18. Kemal Cilengir
  19. Michael Rababy
  20. Mike Blake
  21. Hollywood Sign, Nancy Harasz
  22. Man with Upset Chair (Self Portrait) – Lone Pine, California, Osceola Refetoff
  23. Guardians 1, Peter Kronish
  24. Rollence Patugan
  25. Round Valley CA, Sinziana Velicescu

© the artists, their agents or their estates

I admire them all, but I am particularly taken by Fred Brashear’s Joshua Tree. Here’s his website and here’s the story:

from Endemic Treasures, Fred Brashear
from Endemic Treasures, Fred Brashear
from Endemic Treasures, Fred Brashear

Endemic Treasures
Centered around the Mojave desert’s endemic Joshua tree, my work documents the removal of a unique species for the building of new residential communities and businesses in and around my home of Hesperia, California. With permission from a construction site in 2015, I gathered and reclaimed organic material from a Joshua tree that had been removed from its natural habitat and was destined for refuse. Through my process, I incorporate original techniques to create genuine handmade Joshua tree paper. Once created, I adhere images taken of the remaining untouched landscape through a lift transfer process onto the handmade paper, making each piece a one of a kind print that is not only of the landscape, but essentially from the landscape.

In all, it is my hope that reclaiming organic materials to produce original photographic objects will extend the memory of the Joshua trees that have been prematurely exterminated.  By providing awareness for the Mojave’s endemic species, I am giving a voice to an already fragile desert ecosystem that continues to be threatened due to the encroachment of human habitation.

Fred Brashear, Endemic Treasures


QuotesContents – No Index




wednesday aja
thomas alleman
jeff alu
debe arlook
federica armstrong
elizabeth bailey
peter bennett
diane best
mike blake
craig brandau
fred brashear jr
bill leigh brewer
george byrne
susan kaufer carey
richard s chow
kemal cilengir
ronnie t clark
gerhard clausing
diane cockerill
beau patrick coulon
eric davidove
ellen davis
julia dean
karen doolittle
olivia d’orazi
thouly dosios
michael dressel
dan fenstermacher
sally ann field
patricia fortlage
ellen friedlander
laurie freitag
justin gaar
jose lalo garcia
gilberto godoy
daniel grant
silvia grav
cat gwynn
sarah hadley
maureen j haldeman
nancy harasz
mark edward harris
ursula harris
johan hesselgren
troy holden
andy house
mark indig
laura isé
frank jackson
tom m johnson
paul kessel
nafis khani
toma kostygina
hannah kozak
peter kronish

robert leblanc
ali leroi
j j l’heureux
leba marquez
rick mendoza
janet milhomme
jody miller
josh nelson
michael nozik
monica orozco
angela pailevanian
rollence patugan
james payne
ibarionex perello
ave pildas
lori pond
basak prince
meghan quinn
michael rababy
osceola refetoff
mila reynaud
craig robbins
josh s rose
rinzi ruiz
waleska santiago
ryan schude
safi alia shabaik
lonny shavelson 
randy shropshire
carl shubs
mike slack
aline smithson
sunny strader
wayne swanson
edgar takoyaki
denise taylor
jamie lee curtis taete
jaimie trueblood
david uzzardi
david valera
edward valfre
rush varela
mark velasquez
sinziana velicescu
jerry weber
kevin weinstein
kim weston
zach weston
josh withers
robert yager
jonas yip
robert zahn
mara zaslove
bil zelman