Sunday, February 27, 2011

Swinging the Lambeth Walk

Swinging the Lambeth Walk. By Len Lye (1939). Source.

Len Lye (1901-1980) "was a New Zealand-born artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture.

His films are held in archives such as the New Zealand Film Archive, British Film Institute, Museum of Modern Art [MoMA, New York] and the Pacific Film Archive at University of California, Berkeley.

Lye's sculptures are found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Berkeley Art Museum."

'Swinging the Lambeth Walk' was made "without a camera by painting directly onto the celluloid".

Read more here, here, here and here for example.

First quote from here ; second quote from here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book love

Stop-motion animation: Sean Ohlenkamp and Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp. Music: Rodrigo y Gabriela - Tamacun. Source. Found via Faber Books twitter.

Some stop-motion/bookshelf wonderfulness for the weekend...

Also check out: Sean Ohlenkamp's blog here, work here; Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp's blog here, work here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

20 Soldiers a Day.

20 Soldiers a Day. By Jungeun Lee. Text by Yi Okpun. Jungeun Lee., 2008. 48 pp., illustrated, 6x6". Images from photo-eye (more images here).

Book description:

"The artist book is part of 'The Comfort Women Project' that portrays Korean female victims who were sexually abused during WWII. "

Read more about this beautiful artist book and project here and here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Nature. Photographs by Harry Callahan. Text by Sarah Greenough, John Szarkowski. Steidl/Pace/MacGill, Gottingen, 2007. 32 pp., 13 tritone illustrations, 8¾x7½". Images from photo-eye.

I enjoy the texture in these images.

Book description:

"This book brings together a selection of Harry Callahan’s nature studies, twelve intimately scaled prints assembled into a special series by the artist in the early 1990s.

Over the course of a career that spanned six decades, Callahan made nature one his primary themes, continually finding new ways of seeing trees, weeds, snow, and surf. Ranging in date from 1941 to 1991, these images typify the artist’s innovative approach to these subjects as well as his stated desire to 'capture a moment that people can’t always see'.

A number of works, for example, provide a striking description of surface detail on natural forms, while others reduce those forms into compelling abstract patterns and linear rhythms. Consistent throughout the series are the simplicity and technical refinement that distinguish Callahan’s style and secure his place among the foremost American photographers of the 20th century".

Monday, February 21, 2011


Waterscapes. Photographs by Tomio Seike. Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2003. 24 pp., numerous black-and-white illustrations, 9¾x11¾".

Book description:

"In creating the Waterscapes series, Seike has made a virtue of photography's seemingly infinite capacity to reveal a simple idea in a multitude of different ways".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ghosts Before Breakfast

The German modernist Hans Richter (1888 - 1976) was a painter, graphic artist and experimental filmmaker.

He initially painted in a cubist style, but moved into film - being best known for his experiments in avantgarde cinema. He was also a founding member of the Dada movement.

He is quoted as saying:

"Influenced by cubism and its search for structure, but not satisfied with what it offered, I found myself between 1913-1918 increasingly faced with the conflict of suppressing spontaneous expression in order to gain an objective understanding of a fundamental principle with which I could control the ‘heap of fragments’ inherited from the cubists.

Thus I gradually lost interest in the subject – in any subject – and focused instead on the positive-negative (white-black) opposition, which at least gave me a working hypothesis whereby I could organize the relationship of one part of a painting to the other."

The film Ghosts Before Breakfast (Virmittagspuk) was created in 1927. "This was a silent experimental avant-garde film and it was the fifth film that he had made. The film itself is considered to be one of the first surrealistic films ever made.

Richter's interest in Dadaism is shown directly in this work as he challenges current art standards of the time by presenting a theme of obscurity and fantasy.
This film digs into the viewer's mind for inner experience in thought and idea. It gives the audience a chance to release nervous tension when witnessing these abstractions shown through images. Richter tries to increase the viewer's knowledge of reality by showing them surrealistic fantasy. He accomplishes this through his use of rhythm, and his use of the camera."

Suggested further reading: here, here and here for example.

Second quote from here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You're Not Really Initiate Until Your Eyes Are Redder Than Your Lips.

You're Not Really Initiate Until Your Eyes Are Redder Than Your Lips. One Picture Book #15. Photographs by Don Kirby. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2002. 16pp., 7 duotone plates, 1 original print., 5½x7¼". Limited to 500 numbered and signed copies. Images from photo-eye.

One Picture Book is an ongoing series of limited edition artists' books published by Nazraeli Press, which I've previously written about here, here and here for example

The artist is asked to create a book based on one image or series of connected images, from their previous work. The hardcover edition is limited to 500 and contains an original print by the artist.

' You're Not Really Initiate Until Your Eyes Are Redder Than Your Lips' contains the work of photographer Don Kirby.

While Kirby was working on his Wheatcountry-series "he photographed a now-deserted schoolhouse and became fascinated by the generations of graffiti scrawled upon its walls.

As is so often the case, some of the most meaningful comments in - and on - life are to found in places where they are not expected. Kirby’s black-and-white photographs immortalize pearls of profundity that would more usually inspire removal than recording: the book’s title, for example, or the equally delicious 'There have been no dragons in my life, only spiders and girls . . . I could have coped with dragons'."

Of the book Kirby writes: “Printing the graffiti, I became much more aware of the significance this place has for me and the importance I attach to saying something about it.

The 'Wheatcountry' book was completed by the essays, which were needed to convey aspects the photographs miss. This statement is complete in the photographs."

Both quotes from here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.

Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Photographs by Danny Lyon. Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, 2010. 196 pp., 200 illustrations, 9x12". Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

"In the summer of 1962, Danny Lyon packed a Nikon Reflex and an old Leica in an army bag and hitchhiked south. Within a week he was in jail in Albany, Georgia, looking through the bars at another prisoner, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lyon soon became the first staff photographer for the Atlanta-based Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which already had a reputation as one of the most committed and confrontational groups fighting for civil rights."
'Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement' was originally published in 1992 as part of the Lyndhurst Series on the South by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina Press."

'Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement' was selected as one of photo-eye's Best Books of 2010 by Elizabeth Avedon (click her name to read more about this book and photographer, filmmaker and writer Danny Lyon).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Approach.

On Approach. Photographs by Daniel Milnor. Milnor Pictures, 2008. Unpaged, black & white illustrations throughout, 5¼x8½". Images from photo-eye.

On Approach:

"throttle back
mythic bird of vulnerability
tip toes
egg shells
adrift, hoping to bluff your way
skin and steel
at odds with the world down below
aloft by numbers

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Portrait Unbound.

The Portrait Unbound. Photographs by Robert Weingarten. Text by Julian Cox. High Museum of Art, 2010. 120 pp., 60 colour and 25 black & white illustrations, includes DVD, 9x12½".

Book description:

"Traditional portraiture proceeds from the assumption that we can learn about a person by looking at their face. But crucial biographical truths are rarely visible on the surface.

Robert Weingarten (born 1941) addresses this with 'The Portrait Unbound', in which his 'portraits' of 21 eminent Americans - among them playwrights, musicians, scientists, architects and actors - show not physical appearances but the subjects' memories and associations.

Thus Stephen Sondheim is represented by musical staff paper and is superimposed on Seurat's 'La Grande Jatte,' and Colin Powell is figured in a somber composition based on the mausoleum-esque slabs of the Vietnam War Memorial.
Other subjects include Hank Aaron, Edward Albee, Buzz Aldrin, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chuck Close, Frank Gehry, Jane Goodall, Billy Graham, Dennis Hopper, Quincy Jones, Carl Lewis, Sandra Day O'Connor, Alice Waters and James Watson."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Pulp Art Book: Volume One.

Pulp Art Book: Volume One. Photographs by Joni Harbeck and Neil Krug. Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2010. 72 pp., 44 four-colour illustrations, 12x12". Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

“Neil Krug’s stylized photos of his girlfriend [now wife], the model Joni Harbeck, were taken with Polaroid film years past its sell-by date. They have the kind of grainy, sun-scorched feel of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western.
'Pulp Art Book: Volume One' is an LP-sized hardcover book, split into several vignettes ranging from a spaghetti western theme to a Bonnie and Clyde revival and to the struggles of a 1950s housewife. These series tell the story of each character, and will be expanded in subsequent volumes.

The inspiration for the pulp theme comes from the artists’ collective appreciation of societal life and the artistic expressions of the 1960s and 70s. Old LP jackets, Giallo posters, vintage book covers, and B-movie cinema themes have defined their taste for this project.

Initially they set out to capture something simple and sexy; as the shoots progressed, however, natural story lines emerged. The resulting work captures the smell of those decades and expresses them in a fresh way."

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Hellsinki. By Eloi Gimeno. Eloi Gimeno, 2010. 68 pp., illustrated throughout.

I don't enjoy the Swedish winter at all (and really I mean not at all), I guess photographer Eloi Gimeno felt the same about winter in Finland.

Book description:

"This is not Helsinki, but Hellsinki.

Discipline, order, accuracy. These three characters define the Finnish society pretty well. But, because this book has no vocation to be documentary, these features are replaced here by coldness, darkness and loneliness.

My aim with the book is to give a portrait, from a subjective point of view, of my experience living in the Finnish capital city for ten months.

I guess the extreme climate and the feeling of being in an alien and hermetic surround made me look into the more sordid aspects of this town."

Monday, February 07, 2011


Kitintale. Photographs by Yann Gross. Yann Gross, 2010. 48 pp., colour illustrations throughout, 9¼x12½".

Book description:

"Kampala area & the first East African skatepark constructed by local youngsters.

The first Uganda skateboarders were inspired by the television, but hadn’t any concrete to practice on in their neighborhood. They built the only skatepark of East Africa with their own hand in Kitintale, a working class suburb of Kampala.

With no assistance from government or large NGO’s, kids from Uganda took significant steps to overcome boredom and poverty through skateboarding. Skateboarding keeps the youth busy, combats the development of negative habits and develops a sense of belonging to a community.

The elder skateboarders became also kind of educators. They talk about the problems that many Ugandan families are facing like HIV or malaria and try to inculcate values such as respect and solidarity among the younger ones."

Selected as one of photo-eye's Best Books of 2010. Read more at Yann Gross.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Views from the Reservation.

Views from the Reservation. Photographs by John Willis. Center for American Places, 2010. 184 pp., illustrated throughout.

Book description:

"Professor and photographer John Willis is well aware of the exploitation that sometimes occurs when photographers enter impoverished communities for a project. So, in 1992, when he first traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of South Dakota, he assured the elders of the Oglala Lakota Sioux that he would not be exhibiting any of the images he took while there. Over time, however, Willis earned the respect and trust of the community, and the elders - hoping that the photographs might bring aid to their community - urged him to show his work.

The product of several visits to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 'Views from the Reservation' is meant to open our eyes, minds, and hearts to the life, culture, and conditions of the Oglala Lakota people. With his insightful and complex images Willis enlists several other voices to offer a more complete story: writer Kent Nerburn, who contributes an original essay; Lakota elders and Pine Ridge High School students, who offer poems; Emil Her Many Horses, the associate curator of the National Museum of the American Indian, Kevin Gover, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs, and Oglala Lakota artist Dwayne Wilcox.

Accompanying the book is 'Heartbeat of the Rez,' a compact disc collecting traditional songs compiled by the author, the elders, and KILI, the radio station of the reservation."

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Memory Traces.

Memory Traces. Photographs by Cary Markerink. Ideas on Paper, 2009. 200+ pp., 30 colour and black & white images in main book, 16x12".

The book 'Memory Traces' by Dutch photographer Cary Markerink "relates to notions about landscape (photography), culture, history and memory.

The publication consists of a large format (41 x 30,5 cm - 16 x 12 inch) main photo-book and two smaller booklets (Dark Star & Höffding Step) housed in a printed carton box. In 'Memory Traces' a selection of large-format landscape photographs are combined with a multi-layered range of texts including travelogues, written photographs and a short story. Dark Star is consists of family photographs found in an abandoned and looted house near to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The photographs were made between 1997 and 2008 in Sarajevo, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Berlin, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Ronneburg, Bikini Atoll, My Lai & Khe San and Chernobyl. The monumental design is by Irma Boom and the high-quality printing is by 1455 Fine Art Printers, Hasselt."

Quote from here.