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Roger Steffens

Roger Steffens

The Family Acid: California bears witness to a long, strange trip.

 Agatha French discovered Roger Steffens's photography through the Instagram account @thefamilyacid, curated by his daughter, Kate. On a digital platform designed to generate instant nostalgia by mimicking the image qualities of film, the real thing nonetheless remains unmistakable, and Steffens’s exuberant, roving record of his family life has a significant following. Social media has become ground zero for market testing, and two previous books of Steffens’s photographs have been released since the account’s inception in 2013.

The Family Acid: California comes via the independent music label Ozma Records. It’s a fittingly unconventional route for this eclectic collection of pictures, most of which have never been seen. Spanning the years from 1968 to 2015, they document trips (and trips) through Humboldt County, Echo Park, and Death Valley and hazy evenings spent backstage with Bob Marley or on the road with war photographer Tim Page, who inspired Dennis Hopper’s character in Apocalypse Now.

Written: Monday December 2nd, 11:33am 2019