Book Talk: Romantic Lowlife Fantasies at Foley Gallery

By Laura June Kirsch

It’s (stereotypically) claimed that most young girls spend their whole life dreaming of their wedding day (personally, the thought of dropping mega G’s to dress up like a virgin while 100+ people stare at me for five hours and “Uptown Funk” plays is anxiety-provoking to say the least—that being said if this day ever comes just know I must *really* like the guy). But for me, as a young photographer, I dreamed of having a book of my work published.

The other dream is to have a successful solo show at an NYC gallery. This week I came a little bit closer to both those dreams being actualized, I had my first book talk and pop-up show at Foley Gallery / Launch Photo Books in Chinatown. Romantic Lowlife Fantasies is finally (officially) here.

Getting this book off the ground has been a journey. It was supposed to come out in 2020, then half the books were pre released in 2021 with the rest not arriving until this summer. I had to deal with some of the most brutal work situations I’ve encountered in my life on this project and made some difficult business choices for my own sanity and happiness (so worth it, never back down). So if you buy the book THANK YOU, you can’t even imagine what it took to get it here.

I’ll be honest, I was incredibly nervous leading up to the event. As an introverted person who is usually behind the camera, being the center of attention for a crowd is overwhelming. That being said, the only thing worse than speaking for an audience would be doing a talk to no crowd.

Luckily, the room was packed and the night was a success. To finally have this book officially out and talking about it to a room full of people was surreal. The night itself was an intense blur. However, these days following the event I’ve felt a huge sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of reaching another milestone in my career. I am looking forward to continuing the promo on the book next month and to tackling the next two public speaking engagements (hopefully with a little more ease).

The talk ended up being very interactive, which I loved. One surprise of the evening was during the slideshow presentation—a guest recognized herself in a picture (making out with an ex nonetheless). It was an awesome moment and exactly the kind of connection I have strived for with releasing this work. It definitely took the pressure off to have an ongoing dialogue with the crowd and I was glad how involved the audience was with the work.

I can’t express enough gratitude and thanks to all the people who came out and have supported me and this project. The amount of blood sweat and tears gone into making this book is immeasurable. I have often stopped and wondered “Why am I doing this?” When things got hard throughout the project (and they got really hard at times). Seeing a room full of faces out to support me and the work reminded me why. I love making art. I love connecting with people and honoring the communities I am involved in. This has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager and I made it come true, not backing down and crossing the finish line despite all obstacles for personal growth. It all feels great!

Thank you to everybody who came out Wednesday to honor a huge milestone in not only my career but my life in general. Thank you to Peter Gaston and Anna Gaca for moderating, to Tip Top Proper Cocktails for sponsoring. Extra huge thank you to Michael Foley at Foley Gallery / Launch Photo Books for hosting the event and supporting this project!

About the Book:

“Romantic Lowlife Fantasies: Emerging Adults In The Age Of Hope” is the first published monograph by Canon award winning photographer Laura June Kirsch. Featuring over 85 original images, the book is a photo exploration of millennials in subcultures during the Obama era. Co-edited by Kirsch and Juxtapoz Editor-in-chief Evan Pricco, the collection examines an era of hopeful hedonism for a generation that came of age between 9/11 and a recession that put the traditional American Dream just out of reach. Featuring an introduction by Pricco and original essays by Darlene “Dee Nasty” Demorizi (comedian, actress and VICE personality), Allyson Toy (DJ Toy), Caitlin McGarry (an astrologist and wellness coach also known as Tarotgraph), Jessica Amodeo (NYU MFA Writing Alum) and a poem by Brooke Burt (NYU MFA writing Alum, formerly House Of Vans). Co designed by Laura June Kirsch and Patrick Carrie.

This first edition of this book is a limited run of 1K copies and over half are sold, snag yours here.

RSVP for my official book party. Thursday September 29th, 7:30 – 10PM.

*Please note that if I ever have a wedding under no circumstances will Uptown Funk actually be allowed to be played, or Shout.