I bought Robert Frank’s Thank You in 1998, at a bookstore located in the ground floor of one of the Twin Towers, in New York, together with a Philip–Lorca diCorcia’s monograph. I was leaving for the airport, after my first visit to Manhattan. The towers were the first thing I saw when I arrived at city centre, coming from Penn Station in Newark. When I pick up this book that is what comes to my mind: the towers, the crowded bookstore, the Polaroid I took when I first stepped outside the World Trade Center train station. Frank and diCorcia are two of most important portraitists of America’s zeitgeist(s), and there I was, on the spot that was about to become the symbol of a new era.
Thank You is not a Robert Frank’s photobook, but merely a set of postcards and letters that he collected over many years, tokens of esteem sent by his relatives, friends and fans. Some photos are from anonymous postcards, others are authored by those that sent him the letters. But in the end, after seeing the 78 messages gathered by Frank in this odd book, we get the feeling of having looked trough one of his works. And, in a sense, it is.
I have saved these cards over many years
I was touched how many people wanted to tell me
their appreciation of what I was doing
without asking anything in return
This small book is my way of saying Thank You
Carlos M. Fernandes