Thursday, January 29, 2009

Silent Respiration of Forests.

Silent Respiration of Forests. Mori no Hida. Photographs by Takeshi Shikama. toseisha, Tokyo, 2008. Unpaged, Black & white illustrations throughout., 10½x15".

"The Silent Respiration of Forests:

An endless stretch
Of tree columns overlapping one another,
Ever so rhythmic to the eye.
There pervades a deep silence.
Yet, listening carefully to the surging, undulating sea of trees,
A slight murmur can be heard.
Beckoned by this voice,
I step inside this unknown world,
Wondering to myself:
Is this really the entrance to a blissful paradise?
Between the cluster of trees, I catch a glimpse of a huge tree.
As if magnetized,
Step by step, I find myself approaching this tree,
Tilting its enormous trunk at a slight angle,
Wearing a lofty air befitting the lord of the forest...
I sensed a voice from deep within the curtain of silence
Warning me not to go any further,
And I stopped.
The depth of the forest was filled with an uncanny air
For something seemed to be lurking there.

This series of photographs is an expression of my search for the soul of the deep forests."

Stockholm is a winter wonderland again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Improbable Dreams

Roses and Gown 2007. Work by Tom Chambers from the series Improbable Dreams.

Tom Chambers:
"In composing a variety of stark, woodland settings in contrast with a billowy dress or other man-made articles, I explore the dichotomy between what is natural and what is fabricated."

The colour combination is just beautiful. I have an almost wistful feeling about woodlands - and the colours used makes me realise how much I want spring to come. Today spring is an improbable dream.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new era of responsibility

President Barack Obama's inauguration speech in full.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design.

Images from By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design. By Ned Drew, Paul Sternberger, Paul Spencer Sternberger. Princeton Architectural Press, 2005. 192pp., illustrations, 10.9 x 8.5".

One of the things our family love doing is finding books at the library with book covers that are new to us. When the title is well-known or previously read, the joy is even greater when a copy with a different cover (often of an earlier "vintage") is found. The library is full with covers that are absolutely brilliant, but would probably not be seen as "sell-able" in a mainstream bookstore. The inspiration is endless!

I guess it's therefore not really a surprise that this is a title I'm going to be excited about.

Images from By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design. By Ned Drew, Paul Sternberger, Paul Spencer Sternberger. Princeton Architectural Press, 2005. 192pp., illustrations, 10.9 x 8.5".

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design "traces the story of the American book cover from its inception as a means of utilitarian protection for the book to its current status as an elaborately produced form of communication art" and it's (what I see as) the mid-period - where a book cover showed the "intertwined story of American graphic design and American literature" rather than being a mere protective layer or mainly a tool to sell, which it so often is today - that I so love.

Without actually laying my hand on a copy I can't say if it's fulfilling its' promises, but I think it's a seemingly thorough look at a subject that there's strangely little books on.

By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design "features the work of such legendary figures as Rockwell Kent, E. McKnight Kauffer, Paul Rand, Alvin Lustig, Rudy deHarak, and Roy Kuhlman along with more recent and contemporary innovators including Push Pin Studios, Chermayeff-Geismar, Karen Goldberg, Chip Kidd, and John Gall".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Drifting Away.

Drifting Away. Photographs and text by Erika Diettes. Erika Diettes, 2008. Unpaged, 17 color transparencies, 9½x6". In a limited edition of 250 signed and numbered copies.

Erika Diettes:
"In Drifting Away my intention is to draw attention to some of the victims of forced disappearances of the Colombian armed conflict. The project is a response to a number of press reports and news broadcasts which explain how the paramilitaries and the guerrillas torture people, mutilate them and make them disappear by throwing their bodies into a river. This is the source of the saying that the rivers of Colombia are the world's largest graveyard.

I started by looking for clothing or objects belonging to people who had disappeared in Bogota, and then I went out to the areas of conflict in visits to Eastern Antioquia, Caqueta and Medellin, amongst other places.

During these macabre visits I was able to talk to the families of the victims, who are indeed the voice of all Colombia, clamoring not only for the respect for life, but also for the right to be able to be able to bury their dead.

From a technical point of view, I decided to represent the idea of the river literally, submerging the clothing or objects in water, in order to highlight the way in which the turbulence of water is also a leading feature of the image. I also decided to print on glass to give the feeling of ethereal and fragility character of the image - and so therefore, of life in those parts of our country."

More about Erika Diettes (exhibitions, background, etc) on her website.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Daido Moriyama: Record No 6. Record No 7. Record No 8. Record No 9.

Record No.6. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. Akio Nagasawa, Tokyo, 2006. 48 pp., Numerous black & white illustrations., 8¼x11".

Record No. 7. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. Akio Nagasawa, Tokyo, 2007. 48 pp., Numerous black & white illustrations., 8¼x11".

Record No. 8. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. Akio Nagasawa, Tokyo, 2007. 48 pp., Numerous black & white illustrations., 8¼x11".

Record No.9. Photographs by Daido Moriyama. AKIO NAGASAWA, 2008. 48 pp., 45 black & white illustrations., 8¼x11".

Daido Moriyama is a Japanese photographer and writer concerned with depicting the tearing down of traditional values in post-war Japan, drawing attention to the "indigenous world that remained in the shadows of rapid economic growth."

In 1972, Daido Moriyama self-published a photo journal of Tokyo called "Kiroku" (Record).
34 years later, a continuance on the same theme - the same record - was published as Record No. 6. and made up of 32 full-page black and white photographs.
In Record No.7 and No. 8 this exploration of Tokyo is continued, where as Record No.9. is an exploration of the three European cities Cologne, Antwerp and Oslo.

The common denominator is his desire to shine a strong light on "the gloomier parts of cities usually hidden from sight".

You can get the reprint editions of Record No 1-5 - "a valuable slice of early Moriyama that provides a unique insight into an important phase of his development" - here .

More information on Daido Moriyama here for example

Friday, January 09, 2009

Time Passes.

Time Passes. Photographs by Robert Adams. Thames & Hudson, London, 2008. 100 pp., 32 tritone illustrations. 10 x 11".

Publisher's Description:
"Robert Adams reveals the beauty of the American landscape, exploring lost paradises and areas threatened with destruction.
Time Passes is a meditation on transience and on the promise inherent in beauty.
The pictures were made near Adams's home in the American Northwest, a region once famous for its vast woodlands but now infamous for the ravages of industrial forestry.
In the book the photographer turns away from environmental catastrophe in order to study the shore and sea and light."

"Time Passes is a meditation on transience and on the promise inherent in beauty." Another sentiment and another book I thought was appropriate for the New Year.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Theater of Insects.

The Theater of Insects. Photographs by Jo Whaley. Essays by Linda Wiener and Deborah Klochko. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2008. 128 pp., 64 color illustrations., 7½x9".

Before becoming a photographer Jo Whaley was a theater set designer and stage painter, and the sense of drama, colour choices and setting of the scene is evident in this book where she's set images of colourful insects against rough, colourful and textural settings.

The colour choices and composition is wonderful - and I love the phrasing of the title "The Theater of Insects", which feels very evocative and intriguing.

The book "The Theater of Insects" coincide with an exhibition at the National Academy of Sciences and the exhibition will thereafter travel to other parts of the US.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Nedko Solakov: 99 Fears.

99 Fears. By Nedko Solakov. Text by Suzaan Boettger. Phaidon Press, 2008. 112pp., 99 colour illustrations, 8 x 11 1/2".

I thought it appropriate to start the New Year with (besides a hello to 2009) showcasing a book that seems very suitable for the times we live in.

Nedko Solakov is a Bulgarian artist born in 1957. He studied at the Sofia Academy of Fine Arts in the late 70's/early 80's and has since his graduation produced art works, installations and performance pieces tinged with the political connotation of and springing from growing up under and after a communist regime. His work has been exhibited all over the world.

In putting pen to paper he "uses [his] drawing as an attempt to assuage life's anxieties, both personal and wordily." The resulting collection of sepia, black and white ink, and wash on paper drawings on this subject of fear became a collection of art work entitled "99 Fears" and was part of the Documenta 12 contemporary art exhibition in 2007.

In "99 Fears" we will meet a collection of fears ranging from the universally serious (#27 AIDS, #43 dangerously untruthful world leaders), the less so (#81 "a general fear"), to the uplifting (#12 "a tiny piece of hope is not scared of living in a deep black darkness") - all wonderfully illustrated.

With the book "99 Fears" Phaidon Press has made a beautiful re-production of Nedko Solakov's 99 original prints with the addition of a scholarly text on his fears entitled "Courage" by the art historian Suzaan Boettger, placing this collection of drawings both within the context of Solakov's previous work as well as within the context of art history as a whole.

The book is printed on thick matte paper, and the tonal quality and reproduction of the original paper are excellent (even though I have not seen the original prints the reproduction evokes how holding them in your hand would feel).
It comes bound in hardcover with a dust jacket. Nedko Solokov has added drawings and commentary on the cover and title page (something I especially liked), which ties the book together as a whole.

"99 Fears" is a humorous commentary on the fears of an everyday man, which by its' nature is both personal and wordily. In these current times of financial anxiety, political unrest and uncertainty in the world these fears become more universal, making the book an interesting commentary on our current times.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009

Images from, where you can buy framed prints by Krista's Creations.