An intimate, voyeuristic exploration into the private landscape of the unconscious from the Muybridge of sleep. In 1975, Ted Spagna began his voyeuristic venture into "inner space," exposing the secrets of human sleep behavior by photographing intimate narratives of sleeping figures with a time-lapse camera. Taken at fixed intervals throughout the night from a bird's-eye view, and displayed in chronological order, the series of images reads like a silent film. From the erotic to the domestic, men and women alone, tender intertwined couples, and children are all psychologically and often literally naked as they dance within their sheets. Presented in brilliantly colored exposures, these sensual, cinematic images of dressed or undressed sleeping subjects depict the inherent beauty, rhythm, and organization of natural behavior. Echoing the work of Eadweard Muybridge, this unprecedented book is sure to delight art and photography lovers.

About The Author

Ted Spagna (1943–1989) was an influential teacher, filmmaker, and photographer. In 1975, Spagna began to pioneer sleep photography and produce the body of work for which he is most known. Mary Ellen Mark is an award-winning American photographer. She has received numerous accolades, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dr. Allan Hobson, M.D. is an American psychiatrist and dream researcher.

  • Publish Date: September 03, 2013
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Photography - Individual Photographers - General
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 9 x 12
  • Pages: 144
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4098-4


“For sleep evangelists and connoisseurs, and even for sleep strivers, the publication this fall from Rizzoli of Sleep by Ted Spagna is a watershed event.” ~New York Times

“…photographs of sleeping men, women, and children…are sure to delight art and photography lovers from all walks of life…” ~THE Magazine

“Ted Spagna’s disarmingly intimate photographs of sleeping figures, collected in a posthumous monograph…Sleep at long last retrieves the photographer’s project form obscurity and revives it in all its dreamy glory.” ~OUT Magazine

"An exploration of intimacy poised at the intersection of art and scientific observation, these somehow avoid sinister voyeurism and instead constitute a sensual examination of human vulnerability." ~New Republic

“Where science meets art, a photo book of humans in their most vulnerable state. Spagna is as intrusive as he is inconspicuous; there is an intimacy presented that is both uncomfortable and tender for viewers.”

“…Spagna photographs capture a plot as it unfolds. It is said that gesture does not lie, and so when we look at each and every frame we find the mind in body as it responds to the travels of the mind and wherefore it goes…” ~Miss Rosen
“All the subjects are psychologically naked as they drift through unconsciousness over the course of the night. Spagna has delicately captured the natural beauty of this most basic of human behavior –completely vulnerable, unclouded by facades and pretenses.” ~Malibu Magazine
“….penetrating insights of portraits taken when we are at our most vulnerable and, perhaps, most ourselves.” ~The Big Think