by Alamo & Costello (aka Michael “Chester” Costello)
Dark Lark Press, $55

If, as some would have it, we are gradually evolving from a print-dominated universe into something more akin to a truly visual literacy, books like GrandpaDanny might well be considered signposts on the road to this new way of storytelling. Alamo & Costello, a graduate of the Herron School of Art and an Indianapolis native, has created a kind of visual biography of his grandfather, Danny Uberto. The story is constructed through photographic images — both found and deliberate — that reveal layers of Grandpa Danny’s essentially 20th century life.

Alamo & Costello organizes his visual materials into four, broad sections: “Family Album,” “Snaps,” “Recent Views” and “Artifacts & Relics.” The overall effect goes beyond a mere recounting of one man’s life on the city’s Southside. Rather, it becomes a meditation on memory, or as Danny tells his grandson, “reminders” of things past. Every image chosen here, no matter how pedestrian, seems necessary. Nothing is wasted. From the simplest materials imaginable, Alamo & Costello has made a moving testament to a life and an era.

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