Sunday, September 30, 2007

Strange and Singular.


Strange and Singular. Photographs by Michael Abrams. Loosestrife Editions, Tucson, 2007. 144 pp., 117 duotone and 33 four color images., 7¾x8¾".

" A journey informed by a quote from Michel Foucault… “a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities and to regard otherwise the same things; a fervor to grasp what is happening and what passes; a casualness in regard to the traditional hierarchies of the important and the essential”.

This first book by Michael Abrams is an album in which the artist’s image makes only a fleeting appearance, yet whose hand touches every page."

Friday, September 28, 2007

More wonderful from Ana Ventura




paperdoll #78, 11,811 inches x 15,749 inches (30cm x 40cm)

As you might've gathered before (and before and before) I just LOVE everything ana ventura!

This feels really crisp and wintery in a good way (and that says a lot as winter and I are not good friends). ...and I'm having a thing for lace in unusual contexts at the moment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

At long last Burma has begun to claim the attention of our politicians


"At long last Burma, one of the world's most under-reported human rights tragedies, dominates our media – and has begun to claim the attention of our politicians."

This article in today's Independent is very good.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Czech Eden.






Czech Eden. Photographs by Matthew Monteith. Text by Ivan Klima. Aperture, New York, 2007. 80 pp., 58 color illustrations, 11x9½".

"Combining restraint, brilliant color and a certain thoughtful attention to the uncanny within the everyday, Monteith's photographs parallel a venerable tradition staked out by masters like Joel Sternfeld, and embodied in contemporary work by younger photo-documentarians like Alec Soth. Though at times foreboding, an energetic optimism and humor pervades Monteith's work. His meticulously composed and beautifully produced images focus on individuals, landscapes, oddly stilled cityscapes and the worn traces of the country's long and complex history."



"Czech Eden, Monteith's first monograph, is not a literal description or documentation, but rather a parable in which the viewer encounters individuals and environments that are cohesive yet contradictory, beautiful but unsettling."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Farewell Photography.








Farewell Photography. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. PowerShovel, Tokyo, 2006. 276 pp., Numerous b&w illustrations throughout, 9x11½".

I think this book is really powerful.

"Inspired by William Klein’s blurred photos of New York street life, Andy Warhol’s silk-screened productions and Jack Kerouac’s free-spirited travel writing, Moriyama developed a new and radical approach to producing images. These broken, rough and blurred black and white photographs paved the way for what would become his future trademark style."

The original book (now very difficult to get hold of) would be my first choice. I think this classic work of Japanese photography is fantastic and would have preferred a straight re-print rather than a "reinterpretation". The decisions behind the "reinterpretation" was explained like this:

"No prints or negatives exist for the material represented in the original Farewell Photography, so this reprint was produced using a copy of the original book as source material.

Larger than the original (and with no text whatsoever), this version emphasizes even more strongly Moriyama's frenetic, dynamic approach to image making.

And the choice to reprint reprinted material (because, after all, the original book was still a reprint of the photographs themselves) raises interesting critical issues.

The aesthetic decisions involved reflect on both photography's development as a medium and the recent interest in the history of photography books - spurred in no small part by the Photobook history by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ephemeral Moments.








Ephemeral Moments. Photographs by David H. Gibson. David H. Gibson, Dallas., 2007. Unpaged, 8½x11¾". Limited edition. 3 volumes fitted in a clam shell box, each volume contains 9 Archival Pigment Prints.

Very, very beautiful and evoking ! The images of mist, fog, water and fire are lent a magical and other-worldly quality in these wonderful photographs. I also really like the craftsmanship and work that's gone into producing the book:

"The book is printed and crafted in our studio using the Epson 9800 using Epson Ultrachrome K-3 inks on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308. After printing we spray the prints with 3 coats of Hahnemuhle Protective Spray. The accordion books are fabricated using 100% cotton rag mat board for the construction of the binding board and clam shell boxes. The adhesives are Bienfang Color Mount and PVA glue. The mat board is covered with 'Mohair' a book binding fabric. The fabric is produced by World Cloth Co. Ltd. in Japan."

Also go to David H. Gibson's website for more of his work.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Quinault.







Quinault. Photographs and text by Yoshihiko Ueda. Seigensha, Kyoto, 2003. Unpaged, 39 four-color illustrations, images printed on a heavy matt paper, 10¼x14¼".

"The Quinault and Hoh Rain Forest are known as the "Valleys of the Rain Forest Giants", with an annual rainfall average of up to 400 inches that provides a moisture rich environment in which trees grow to record sizes. In the summer of 1990, while on assignment scouting locations to photograph models, Ueda "experienced a strange, but unfocused moment of vision" that caused him to consider, for the first time, photographing the forest itself. That brief moment led to a prolonged sojourn, the following spring, with an 8 x 10 camera and color film. The images make use of a simple eye level vantage point, and amply convey what it is like to wander through the forests, to pause at times to take in a fallen tree covered with moss, or to stand still amidst the undergrowth. Ueda has printed the work so as to emphasize the blue tint to the light and the deepness of the shadows, a perfect complement to his original experience. The overall effect is one of shared participation on the part of the viewer."

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Photographer's Eye.








The Photographer's Eye. Text by John Szarkowski. Numerous contributing photographers. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007. 156 pp., 173 duotone illustrations, 8½x9".

"The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski is a twentieth-century classic - an indispensable introduction to the visual language of photography. Based on a landmark exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1964, and originally published in 1966, the book has long been out of print. It is now available again to a new generation of photographers and lovers of photography in this duotone printing that closely follows the original. Szarkowski's compact text eloquently complements skillfully selected and sequenced groupings of 172 photographs drawn from the entire history and range of the medium. Celebrated works by such masters as Cartier-Bresson, Evans, Steichen, Strand, and Weston are juxtaposed with vernacular documents and even amateur snapshots to analyze the fundamental challenges and opportunities that all photographers have faced. "

Every frame is perfect in its' composition and relationship within its' context in the book! This can surely be attributed to Szarkowski eye:

"Szarkowski, the legendary curator who worked at the Museum from 1962 to 1991, has published many influential books. But none more radically and succinctly demonstrates why - as U.S. News & World Report put it in 1990 - 'whether Americans know it or not,' his thinking about photography 'has become our thinking about photography.'"

Friday, September 07, 2007

Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars.






Euro Deco: Graphic Design Between the Wars. By Steven Heller and Louise Fili. Chronicle Books, 2005. 500pp., colour illustrations, 9.1 x 8 x 1.6".

As I've written before I have a huge soft-spot for typography and typography books - I also really like Modernism and to some extent the aesthetics of Art Deco (even though it's been somewhat trivialised). This book, recommended to me when I bought the fantastic ABZ, seems like it could be worth checking out.

"One of the most beloved design styles of nostalgic collectors, Art Deco developed in France following World War I and quickly became popular around the world, proliferating in lively posters, typefaces and skyscraper designs. Borrowing from Modernism's austere simplicity, while incorporating flourishes that would appeal to a mass audience, Art Deco allowed manufacturers to boost consumer desire for new and fashionable products. A compilation of six now out-of-print books from Chronicle's Deco Graphic Design series, this volume offers lesser-known examples of Deco graphic design from six countries: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and England. The playful advertisements and product labels, many created by unknown artists, demonstrate the breadth of the style's reach and its variation across Europe. Dutch beer posters, German cigarette packages and Italian book covers burst with color, allowing readers to slip back into a time in which the airplane was "a symbol of futuristic wonder" and inventions like furnaces and Pyrex pots were making their debuts. In each chapter, Heller, senior art director for the New York Times, and Fili, principal of a New York graphic design firm, introduce the historical context surrounding each country's Art Deco movement, noting prominent poster artists who influenced the field. Whimsical and informative, this volume should keep readers coming back for multiple perusals." -- Publishers Weekly

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I love love love this use of patchwork!









All images from squintlimited.com

These fantastic furnitures are made by Lisa Whatmough and sold in her store Squint in London. Her work can also be bought in the US and at Liberty department store (London).

I love the original use of patchwork techniques, the colours, the intuitive use of and bold mix of pattern, the vintagy feel and inclusion of surprising objects (patchwork tea pot for example).