In the summers of the 1970s Randal Levenson traveled with sideshows and carnivals in the United States and Canada, living and working in their community, first as an outsider and later as an intimate, capturing the intelligence, wit, and warmth of the carnival characters.

Levenson portrayed the performers in their private moments, relaxing amid traveling gear, or posed with their families and personal mementos. Though powerfully new in their time—intimate, frank, and sometimes shocking—the images also manage to evoke the America of hand-painted signs, cotton candy, and Saturday afternoons spent strolling the midway. In 1982, Aperture published Levenson's intimate document of the carnival life, In Search of the Monkey Girl. The book, which features text by legendary performance artist and writer Spalding Gray, accompanies the photograph.

Randal Levenson (born in Wichita Falls, Texas) grew up in New England. He works with large-format, black-and-white photography 


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