Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

July 31, 2017

I NEED REAL TUXEDO AND A TOP HAT: words and pictures by Wyatt Doyle (New Texture)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:51 pm

wyatt tuxedo


words and pictures by WYATT DOYLE

published by New Texture

available from Amazon in the US, Canada, UK, etc.–it’s cheaper to buy from your local Amazon outlet as it’s only local shipping, not foreign


Everyone has a dream. It might be something seemingly minor or insignificant to others; it might be something totally unrealistic that could never be accomplished in ten lifetimes. Every time I see a mom’n’pop business open in my neighborhood, I think of it as someone living their dream—-and when I see it go out of business in a year or two, a part of my heart breaks for the owners, as they tried to live their dream and it did not work out. But at least they got it off the ground for a while.

This collection of photography and short fiction by Wyatt Doyle is about dreams….dreams deferred, dreams denied, dreams laughed at by others, dreams that keep people’s spirits alive. Doyle’s earlier book of fiction, STOP REQUESTED!, took place on the public transportation system of Los Angeles, and thus included a number of homeless and transient individuals. I don’t know what the statistics are—-and even if I did, homeless people (like undocumented immigrants) are rarely counted accurately—-but from personal observation, there are certainly many more homeless folks here in Texas than there were, say, two years ago. The homeless and transient….and the closed-down businesses and abandoned things of the abandoned urban world they inhabit….are the focus of I NEED REAL TUXEDO AND A TOP HAT!

As always, Wyatt Doyle has an incisive and poetic eye as a photographer—-you can taste the atmosphere in every shot, and you can feel the environment in which these abandoned people and abandoned businesses exist. Some people in the suburbs may want a new car or a vacation to Mazatlan….the folks in this book want a safe place to sleep for the night, protected from the elements, and where the few personal belongings they have will not be stolen from them. And each night they must go on another quest to find that.

Wyatt Doyle also has an incisive and poetic eye as a fiction writer. While he certainly possesses all the good qualities of a Charles Bukowski or a James T. Farrell or a Hubert Selby or an Erskine Caldwell, he’s a better stylist than Bukowski, and he doesn’t have some of the personal baggage that a Farrell or a Selby or a Caldwell bring to a text. The writing is as clear, sharp, resonant, and deep as the photography. Each of the short literary pieces is character-based, and there’s not a wasted word or a false note. And each captures the dreams of the character, dreams which never die, dreams which can grow in any soil, no matter how distressed and bleak it may seem.

This is America, circa 2017; the characters depicted here in photographs and in fiction (and the book is mostly photography) are our brothers and sisters, and the environment they live and chase their dreams in may just be a mile or two away from where you are reading this….you may drive through the neighborhood on the way to or from work.

This is a beautiful book (9″ x 9″ square, with crisply duplicated and rich photographs), both in appearance and content. The human spirit cannot be snuffed out, even by the most corrosive circumstances, and I NEED REAL TUXEDO AND A TOP HAT! captures that spirit in both pictures and words. Wyatt Doyle has created a moving and unique work here, and I would not be exaggerating to say that on some level it could be viewed as the 2017 American equivalent to the classic Depression-era photography and literature hybrid LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN by Walker Evans and James Agee. It’s a different world today, and different kinds of works are needed than in 1936. I think Evans and Agee would appreciate what Doyle has done here.

The book is available in both paperback and hardcover editions, and the hardcover contains some extra material. Either version is highly recommended. It’s the kind of work where, after spending time with it, I put it down, shake my head, and think, “this pretty much says it all.” What more could one ask from any artwork in any genre or format?

In the USA, you can get a copy at this link:

Elsewhere, just search for the title/author at the Amazon website in your country. You’ll be glad you did.

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