Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a photo a day - month six

a photo a day (set). Month six (31 May-29 June).

I've now come to the end of month six of my photo project 'a photo a day' (month six is above, you can see the first month here, the second month here, the third month here, the fourth month here and the fifth month here).

'a photo a day' is an incidental look at what I see out the window or on my way to places everyday. Even if I live in a city environment most of the time I'm primarily focusing on landscape or the sky, as I find the intense impact nature has on us even in a city-setting very interesting indeed (spending time mainly in Stockholm with its' clearly defined seasons and high impact of the weather, this is even more poignant, and thus interesting to document).

It will hopefully be an interesting capture of the seasons changing, random captures of immediate or unexpected loveliness, as well as some beautiful photographs.

You can see the result so far above, here, here, here, here and here (full set here) or view the individual images, today's photograph and continue to follow the project going forward by clicking here or here. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Road Divided.

A Road Divided. Photographs by Todd Hido. Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2010. 64 pp., 28 colour illustrations, 14x17".

In 'A Road Divided' - photographer Todd Hido’s latest monograph of landscape photographs - "the artist again focuses his attention on the American landscape. Driving lonely roads on the outskirts of cities, Hido creates poignant images filled with inexplicable gravity, cinematic scenes of places that somehow exist in our collective memory.

In these new pictures, Hido demonstrates his fluidity within the daytime realm, putting aside the harder edge that characterizes his night work by photographing through veils of rain or ice. Delicately, potently, embracing the beauty of the pictorial, Hido’s new pictures present an image plane that is often fully disintegrated, recalling impressionist painting.

With an unquestionably modern effect, he often frames the compositions from inside his car, photographing straight through the windshield, using it as an additional lens and bringing a sense of timing and moment to these stationary scenes.

Todd Hido’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, and are included in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art."

There is also a special edition of this book available. It's limited to 100 copies, signed and numbered, comes in a clamshell box and features a original print.

Quote from publisher's description. I've written about Todd Hido here before.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jetlag and Alcohol.

Jetlag and Alcohol. Photographs by Morten Andersen. Poem by Terje Thorsen. Shadowlab, Oslo, 2009. 192 pp., 187 duotone illustrations, 10¼x8".

"The New York City described by Morten Andersen in Jetlag and Alcohol is brutal, tragic, funny, filthy, and beautiful from the inside out, which is how Andersen experiences it, as a fearless explorer with a sincere desire to hear the stories of its inhabitants and to send them back out into the world as hauntingly beautiful black and white images.

Taken in 1990 and 1991, Andersen's photographs depict the denizens of dark alleys, half-empty subway cars, all-night diners, and cheap bars with the gritty poetry of a Tom Waits song.

With an introductory text in English by Terje Thorsen."
-- quote from the Independent Photo Book.

'Jetlag and Alcohol' was selected as one of photo-eye's Best Books of 2009.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Miroslav Tichý.

Miroslav Tichý. Photographs by Miroslav Tichý. The Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2010. 32 pp., 68 colour illustrations, 8¼x7¼".

This book (with the most hauntingly beautiful cover image) was published to coincide with the exhibition of photographs by Miroslav Tichý at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2008-2009).

Tichý's dreamlike and poignant photographs really resonates with me - especially the landscapes, whereas there are perhaps part of his work (mainly photographs of women) that are problematic. I have written about books featuring his work previously here and here.

The International Center of Photography recently showed the first American museum exhibition devoted to the work of Tichý. The ICP describes him and his work as:

"Tichý is a stubbornly eccentric artist, known as much for his makeshift cardboard cameras as for his haunting and distorted images of women and landscapes, many of them taken surreptitiously.

Tichý began photographing in the 1950s, in part as a political response to the social repressions of Czech communism.

However, it is only in the past five years that his intensely private work has gained public attention."

You can also see more of his work here or here for example (or here and here).

UPDATE: Please note that due to comment on this post I've changed the link above.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Glad midsommar - Happy midsummer!

Midsommardans ('midsummer dance') by Anders Zorn (1897).

Happy midsummer! Above is a 1897 depiction of midsummer by the Swedish painter Anders Zorn - traditionally speaking it's still not that different...

Midsummer celebrations really is part of the fabric of Swedish life. To learn more about what those traditions are continue reading or go here. Hope you have a wonderful day!

"In modern Sweden, Midsummer's Eve and Midsummer's Day (Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen) [...] is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated, even if it has been influenced by other countries long ago.

The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. One typical dance is the frog dance. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.

Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstång or midsommarstång) is an activity that attracts families and many others. People dancing around the pole listen to traditional music and many wear traditional folk costumes. The year's first potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs are also important at this feast, and many drink heavily.

Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don't take it seriously."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Be mine.

So I think perhaps I'm spending too much time enjoying summer, hanging out in parks - will do better!

For now: hope you enjoy this video... It's not necessarily my kind of thing (even though I actually do like this song, and generally speaking what Robyn is trying to do artistically), but I really love the video - very a side of Stockholm many perhaps kind of don't envision + stylistically great. Hope you enjoy it!

ps. Also enjoyed this BBC set.

UPDATE: Dazed Digital just posted an interview with Robyn if you actually wanted to know some more about her rather than just viewing the video

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Studio visit

Interview and studio visit with Mike Perry by ReadyMade. Via Mike Perry and pocko.

Just a short little interview and studio visit with Mike Perry for you today. Not sure why it just felt like it really spoke to me or resonated with me somehow, but it did just that... (Enjoy!)

Read more at ReadyMade, see more at Mike Perry.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Illustrations by Catherine Cambell. I've previously written about her work here.

"If a star comes loose
and falls white through the air,
then, it is said, she answers our prayers, that reach
that short glimmering path.

I wait and wait. It is April,
a warm and sharp-eared night in April,
when the grass grows and the stars listen -
tonight they go so peacefully their way,
and not one trips and falls!

But if I fall asleep, it matters not at all:
if a star tears itself loose tonight,
then she must feel my prayer, where she descends,
even though I sleep -
for all the silent, silent night
all of wide, wide space
is completely full of my only wish!"

Karin Boye: Wish-night (translation into English by David McDuff).

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Cuba. Photographs by Jeffrey Milstein. The Monacelli Press, 2010. 128 pp., 80 colour illustrations, 9x6".

"Trained as an architect, Jeffrey Milstein has an eye for symmetry, line, color, and detail. Focusing on streetscape and street life, he has created a unique portrait of Cuba that delves deep into the soul of that country.

As Milstein explained in an article for Creative Review, 'I have always been drawn to old industrial architecture - the decay and the sculptural shapes. I love to wander around these abandoned places with their history, and layers of old peeling paint and newer graffiti and paint ball splattering. It is a reflection on how everything eventually decays, no matter how hard we try, everything including our own bodies slowly decay, and yet it can be very beautiful.' "

In an introduction to this book Nilo Cruz says:

"The images contained in this book do more than mirror reality in Cuba. They offer an orientation to its complexities.

They present glimpses that are factual, realistic, honest, mixed with a breath of lyricism and quotidian simplicity, capturing our attention and allowing us to see the unseen.

They get us in touch with the depth of our own inwardness and expand our sympathies not only for the Cuban people but also for humanity."

You can see more of Jeffrey Milstein photography work here.

First quote from the publisher's description at photo-eye ; second quote from Random House.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rocket Magazine Has Become a Book.

Rocket Magazine Has Become a Book. Edited by Rocket. Rocket Books, 2008. 236 pp., numerous colour and black & white illustrations, 8¼x11¾".

"Since it was established in 1996 in Tokyo, Rocket has grown in notoriety as a Mecca for young creative spirits and their supporters.

Here the activities of the gallery space are documented, accompanied by reproductions of art magazines that were produced between 2006 to 2007.

An amazing and diverse collection of upcoming artists, illustrators and photographers, from predominantly Japan and New York, have collaborated with the gallery, including: Mark Borthwick, Peter Sutherland, Tracy Nakayama, Yukoo Mori, Peter Kienzle, Wowch, Yuri Miyagi, Tomomi Kazumoto and Mustone."
-- publisher's description.

Friday, June 18, 2010

László Moholy-Nagy

Lightplay: Black-White-Grey (excerpt) by László Moholy-Nagy from 1932.

László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer (born 1895) who has highly influenced generations of artists with his work and as a professor at the Bauhaus school.

This short film 'Lightplay: Black-White-Grey' is "derived from Moholy Nagy's kinetic sculpture 'The Light Space-Modulator'."

At the Bauhaus Moholy-Nagy taught in such diverse medias as painting, sculpture, photography, photo-montage and metal.

He was very much influenced by constructivism (effectively moving the Bauhaus teachings from expressionism to constructivism upon becoming head of its foundation course) and "a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts".

As many of those associated with the Bauhaus school (and also due to the fact that he was Jewish) Moholy-Nagy had to leave Germany in the 1930s. He settled in England and later in the US where he became director of the New Bauhaus.

"Throughout his career, [Moholy-Nagy] became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design.

One of his main focuses was on photography. He coined the term 'the New Vision' for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not."

UPDATE: You can read and see more about László Moholy-Nagy here, here, here and here for example.

First quote from ubuweb ; remaining quotes from wikipedia entry for László Moholy-Nagy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Josef Koudelka: Piemonte.

Piemonte. Photographs by Josef Koudelka. Editions Xavier Barral, 2009. 160 pp., 76 black & white illustrations, 13x8¼". Images from the photo-eye blog.

The book 'Piemonte' by Czech photographer Josef Koudelka "features work from the area of Piemonte, a region in Italy that borders France and Switzerland. Turin is its capital.

The book opens with an essay by Giuseppe Culicchia that speaks not just of Koudelka's work there, but mentions both historical and cultural references associated with this region - Giovanni Verga's story La Malora, the actress Silvana Mangano, and Hannibal's trek with his war elephants en route to defeat the Roman army.

The design is similar to a couple of earlier Koudelka books, 'Reconnaissance Wales' and 'Camargue', in that it has bare boards with a black stamped front and back cover.

Unlike these earlier titles, it is bound in a landscape format which opens to the top so that the panoramas can be viewed without interruption from the gutter.

It features images of cairn markings high in the mountains, sites of construction and industrial decay, grand and closely-cropped landscapes, and ancient and modern architecture of this region. Each image page has a white border and is faced by a black page with small white titles stating the area in which the photo was taken.

This chromatic design only heightens Koudelka's use of black and white."

"Throughout his career, Koudelka has been praised for his ability to capture the presence of the human spirit amidst dark landscapes. Desolation, waste, departure, despair and alienation are common themes in his work.

His characters sometimes seem to come out of fairytales. Still, some see hope within his work - the endurance of human endeavor, in spite of its fragility.

His later work [such as the book 'Piemonte'] focuses on the landscape removed of human subjects."

I've previously written about Josef Koudelka excellent book 'Invasion 68'. You can read and see more about Josef Koudelka here, here and here for example.

First quote from the photo-eye blog (post by Melanie McWhorter) ; second quote from the wikipedia entry for Josef Koudelka.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Plan.

The Plan. Photographs by Michael Schmelling. Text by Richard Maxwell. J&L Books, 2009. 576 pp., 490 black & white illustrations, 6¾x9".

The design of the book 'The Plan' by Michael Schmelling "takes its conceptual lead from its content, with 490 photographs on 576 pages. It takes its name from Disaster Masters’ toll-free number (1-800-THE PLAN).

The book is divided into twelve chapters, each documenting a different home. 'The Plan' is an arresting art object as well as a fascinating document of urban archaeology and psychology."

It was selected as one of photo-eye's Best Books of 2009 and a limited edition that includes "a choice of one of six 8x10' c-prints printed and signed by the artist" is also available (view print options here).

The book features photographs by Michael Schmelling, documenting 12 private residents visited by the photographer between 2003 and 2005 "in the company of 'Disaster Masters', a New York-based company specializing in cleaning up homes and counseling compulsive hoarders.

Featuring 490 photographs printed in black-and-white on 576 newsprint pages, this volume devotes one chapter to each home - producing an arresting art object and a fantastic document of urban archaeology and psychology."

First quote from J&L books ; second quote from publisher's description on photo-eye.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

American Surveillance.

American Surveillance. Someone To Watch Over Me. Photographs by Richard Gordon. Forward by Jason Francisco, afterword by Richard Gordon. Chimaera Press, Emeryville, 2009. 104 pp., 85 duotone illustrations, 11½x9¼".

"Sleuthful towards appearances, photographer Richard Gordon is drawn to the collateral meanings of things as they are. In this case, the unnoticed uniquity of visual surveillance within contemporary urban spaces.

In the black-and-white pictures that comprise this book of images, Gordon is locked in a game of wits with the public as it conceals within itself an infrastructure of unsolicited private observations, what amounts to an omnipresent regime of legitimated social distrust.

The point is that we don't really know what is and is not a camera, where cameras are and where they are not."

"The elegant, masterful photographs in this book are clear-eyed, devastating, and occasionally laugh out loud hilarious. There is fascination, beauty, horror, kitsch, pathos, amusement, wit, grace, and intelligence, as well as numerous echoes and references to a wide range of critical realist street photography of the twentieth century.

Gordon's four decades of photographing 'in the street', his three decades of book making, and his mastery of his craft - the shooting as well as the printing of black and white photography - are apparent. Gordon’s photography is literate and authoritative."

First quote from the Strand bookstore ; second quote from the photo-eye magazine review by Alex Sweetman.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


S. Photograps by Beate Gutschow. Hatje Cantz, 2010. 72 pp., 34 duotone illustrations, 12x15". Images from.Hatje Cantz.

"Beate Gütschow’s exploration as an artist directly probes questions of pictorial representations of reality.

As a student in Hamburg and Oslo, she explored verisimilitude initially as a painter and installation artist and eventually became attracted to photography for its apparent, though qualified, ability to more faithfully and accurately represent reality."

The large-format black and white photographs in the book 'S' by Beate Gütschow seems "reminiscent of authentic documentations of urban scenes: monumental architecture, decaying buildings, rusty automobile parts.

Yet the images are the result of complex digital manipulation: they are montages consisting of numerous photos taken by Gütschow on her various journeys and later assembled to create a single picture.

They are often fragments of aging modern architecture - plain, unadorned concrete buildings, now crumbling and in part non-functional.

In this way, the artist thematizes ideas that have survived modernity while she also explores and scrutinizes the medium of photography as a representative of reality."

First quote from Museum of Contemporary Photography ; second quote from the publisher's description.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Underdog Suite. Photographs and Collages 1998-2009.

Underdog Suite. Photographs and Collages 1998-2009. Photographs by Cat Tuong Nguyen. With Essays by Burkhard Meltzer und Nadine Olonetzky. Scheidegger & Spiess, 2009. 312 pp., 545 colour and 10 halftone illustrations, 8x10½".

Vietnam-born Swiss photographer Cat Tuong Nguyen is known for his "highly individual, intelligent, and poetic work" where he challenges photography’s "time-honored status as a documentary medium, [and] photographs his subjects through a variety of filters, calling attention to vision’s mediating processes and unmasking 'transparency' as an illusion".

He's exhibited his work frequently and has gained recognition internationally.

"Nguyen’s photos confront viewers with strange, humorous, and mysterious images, challenging them to investigate their everyday reality.

The first book to collect Nguyen’s art, 'Underdog Suite' brings together in one volume his photographs, collages, and unique painted-over magazine pictures.

Arranged in an unconventional and highly original manner that mirrors Nguyen’s own unusual approach to art, 'Underdog Suite' presents nearly the complete oeuvre of this extraordinary young artist.

Far from a mere monographic overview, it is, rather, a book-shaped self-portrait of an artist who reacts with great intelligence and lyrical sensitivity to his everyday world - and reflects this sensibility and curiosity in his stunning images.

A beautiful and unusual book, 'Underdog Suite' introduces the work of this rapidly emerging artist to a larger audience."

First quote: source; second quote: source ; third quote: source.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Framing the West.

Framing the West. The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Photographs by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. By Toby Jurovics, Carol M. Johnson, Glenn Willumson, and William F. Stapp; Foreword by Page Stegner. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010. 272 pp., 1 black and white and 150 colour illustrations, 9½x11".

Timothy H. O'Sullivan was a mid-late 19th century photographer known for his photographs of the American Civil War and the American West.

"The image of the untamed American West persists as one of our country’s most enduring cultural myths, and few photographers have captured more compelling images of the frontier than Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

Trained under Mathew Brady, O’Sullivan accompanied several government expeditions to the West - most notably with geologist Clarence King in 1867 and cartographer George M. Wheeler in 1871.

Along these journeys, O’Sullivan produced many beautiful photographs that exhibit a forthright and rigorous style formed in response to the landscapes he encountered. Faced with challenging terrain and lacking previous photographic examples on which to rely, O’Sullivan created a body of work that was without precedent in its visual and emotional complexities.

The first major publication on O’Sullivan in more than thirty years, Framing the West offers a new aesthetic and formal interpretation of O’Sullivan’s photographs and assesses his influence on the larger photographic canon.

The book features previously unpublished and rarely seen images and serves as a field guide for O’Sullivan’s original prints, presenting them for the first time in sequence with the chronology of their production."

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967.

Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967. Photographs by Dennis Hopper. Contributors: Tony Shafrazi, Walter Hopps, Jessica Hundley. Taschen, 2009. 546pp., illustrated throughout, 33 x 44 cm (hardcover + box).

I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of actor, photographer and icon Dennis Hopper on Saturday after a battle with cancer.

There are many things to be said about him as an inspiration, artist, actor, director and cultural icon, but I thought I would show his work as a photographer with this book 'Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967'.

As Dennis Hopper said himself: "I was doing something that I thought could have some impact someday. In many ways, it's really these photographs that kept me going creatively."

The book is described as follow:

"During the 1960s, Dennis Hopper carried a camera everywhere - on film sets and locations, at parties, in diners, bars and galleries, driving on freeways and walking on political marches.

He photographed movie idols, pop stars, writers, artists, girlfriends, and complete strangers. Along the way he captured some of the most intriguing moments of his generation with a keen and intuitive eye.

A reluctant icon at the epicenter of that decade’s cultural upheaval, Hopper documented the likes of Tina Turner in the studio, Andy Warhol at his first West Coast show, Paul Newman on set, and Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

In many ways this work is photography as film, a poignant narrative expressed through a series of stark images - early shots of Tijuana bullfights, LA happenings and urban street scenes show an experimental freedom that would translate into the vivid cinematic imagery of Easy Rider and beyond.

From a selection of photographs compiled by Hopper and gallerist Tony Shafrazi - more than a third of them previously unpublished - this extensive volume distills the essence of Hopper's brilliantly prodigious photographic career.

Also included are introductory essays by Tony Shafrazi and legendary West Coast art pioneer Walter Hopps, and an extensive biography by journalist Jessica Hundley.

With excerpts from Victor Bockris's interviews of Hopper's famous subjects, friends, and family, this volume is an unprecedented exploration of the life and mind of one of America’s most fascinating personalities."

You can flick through the entire - and really truly amazing book - here at Taschen, read more about the book here, or view this film about and behind the book.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Maze. Photographs by Celine Clanet. photolucida, 2010. 80 pp., 52 illustrations.

'Maze' - a photo book by Celine Clanet - is a photo essay of the Sami people (the indigenous people of Sweden and other Nordic countries).

It deals with environmental, political and economic aspects of a people that has survived for thousands of years in extreme weather conditions and under colonisation and a marginalisation of their culture and heritage - an existent that has been precarious at most times.

Awen Jones says in the publisher's description of this book:

"The pictures of Céline Clanet seem to share a documentary vision and a conceptual approach.

This juxtaposition translates into one of her main concerns: the importance of time present.

For her, life consists of a succession of moments set firmly in the present, not events which occur or have occurred after a lapse of time, highlighted by some seminal event...she shows that action and contemplation, daydream and objective observation are all one, and go together as an integral part of life.

They can also, thankfully, generate sensations of wonderful serenity despite a sometimes hostile background."