Friday, July 29, 2011

Etsuko Ichikawa

Etsuko Ichikawa at work (source). Found via Josephine.

Poetic and beautiful, watching Etsuko Ichikawa drawing on paper with molten glass to create abstract work is almost a spiritual experience.

"The yin to Etsuko Ichikawa's soft-spoken, introspective yang is fiery, molten glass.

Handling it while aglow at 2100°F, she loops, stretches and presses the smoking mass of lava atop paper to create abstract drawings known as pyrographs.

Filmmaker Alistair Banks Griffin captures the dramatic choreography of Ichikawa's art in this short film for the Anthropologist."

See more of her work here, and hear her talk of the process here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sometimes In The Night Time

Sometimes In The Night Time by Michael Kirkham (2006). Found via Julia Rothman.

A very sweet short film from British illustrator Michael Kirkham about being sad at night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Monument. Photographs by Lynn Davis. Text by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Patti Smith. Arena Editions, 1999. 144 pp., illustrated throughout, 10,5x11,5". Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

"Over the years, Lynn Davis has become widely celebrated for her large-scale photographs of 'monuments' of the human and natural landscape from around the world.

Whether depicting the ancient pyramids of Giza, the temples of Cambodia, or the icebergs of Greenland, Davis articulates both the omnipotent forces of nature and the most resolute building endeavors ever undertaken by man.

Davis's aesthetic is cool and refined; her sparse composition and controlled modeling of light evoke solitude and contemplation.

Travel has become an essential component of Davis's work, building on a long-standing tradition of travel photography, particularly from the nineteenth century. Evident in her minimal imagery is a reverence for the monuments she visits for their grace of form and for the extraordinary feats of their producers.

Lynn Davis's photographs are accompanied by texts by Patti Smith and Rudolph Wurlitzer that contemplate the sheer beauty of Davis's photography and the context of travel in which they are produced."

Read Patti Smith's introduction here.

A limited edition of 'Monument' is available. The photographs has been "reproduced in color to accurately represent the rich tonality of her black-and-white prints".
It's limited to an edition of 50 signed, numbered and boxed editions and comes with an unpublished and signed photograph, which is only available with this edition.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Heart Land.

The Heart Land. Work by Mark Borthwick. Powershovel, 2010. 168pp., illustrated throughout, 21,6 x 28cm. Images from photo-eye. More in this video.

An artist book by Mark Borthwick made up of hazy, beautiful, dream-like photographs, poetry, drawings and splatters of paint, and focusing on nature and ecology.

Book description:

"British-born, New York-based photographer Mark Borthwick (born 1966) is famed for his blurry, sunsoaked photographs, a style that has crossed disciplines and gained him equal footing in the art, photography and fashion worlds.

Borthwick came to prominence in the mid-1990s with several major international exhibitions of photography; in 1998 his self-designed publication 'Synthetic Voices' won him the Art Directors Club (New York) Silver Prize for Book Design, and his 2004 DVD collaboration with Cat Power, 'Speaking for Trees', further enlarged his audience.

A musician, artist and poet, Borthwick conveys throughout his work an appetite for life recorded in snatched moments of bliss and delight: rainbow-like sun streaks are common effects in his photographs, as is imagery of youthful frolics in forests.

'The Heart Land' is conceived as an artist's book convening artworks, photographs and poems by Borthwick."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rest in Peace Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse. Other great performances: AOL sessions 6th of May 2004, Jools Holland and here, here, here and here for example.

I was very sad to hear of the death of Amy Winehouse at the age of 27. She's truly one of the most talented singers and songwriters of her generation.

I saw her live several times early in her career - a stand-out night for me was the Billie Holiday tribute (Billie & me curated by Neneh Cherry at the Barbican) where she more than held her own. The troubled life unfolding in the tabloids thereafter was sad to see, but I do hope her immense talent is what will be remembered. Rest in peace.

Read more here, here, here, here or here for example.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bloody Moon.

Bloody Moon. Photographs and text by Keiko Nomura. Toseisha, 2006. 80pp., illustrated throughout, 23,2 × 20,7 cm. Images from photo-eye.

'Bloody Moon' features the work of Japanese photographer Keiko Nomura.

As usual (and sadly) with the books published by Toseisha gallery there's very little information to obtain about the works.

However, from what I can understand from the Japanese I believe the photographs where taken over the course of six years (2000-2006) in Okinawa, Amami-Oshima, Taiwan, Hawaii, South India and Tokyo.

It focuses on a group of women and the natural landscape, playing up the sense of colour and strength.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Thought You Knew Where All of the Elephants Lie Down.

I Thought You Knew Where All of the Elephants Lie Down. Photographs by André Princípe. Pierre von Kleist Editions, 2010. 48pp., illustrated throughout, 23,5 x 34cm. Images from photo-eye. Limited edition of 300 copies.

Book description:

"In his second book designed as a classical music score, Príncipe continues his exploration of photography as a way of knowing reality.

The book has a strong narrative feeling, with two distinctive parts; a very precise sequence of images of girls and animals is followed by a hazy, dreamlike worldview.

With its Leonard Cohen line title, 'I thought you knew where all of the elephants lie down' is an existentialist travelogue that defies the idea that there are pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.

André Principe (Porto, 1976) Studied Psychology, Photography and Film. Has been exhibiting regularly since 2004.

Published his first book 'Tunnels', at Booth-Clibborn edtions, London 2005. 'Smell of Tiger precedes Tiger' will come out in 2010, with Journal.

His first film, 'Before the Ghost House' was produced by Som & Fúria. 'Traces of a diary', co-directed with Marco Martins, with Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, etc, had its world premiére in Indie Lisboa 2010."

A limited edition of this book is available. It's limited to an edition of 30, signed and numbered, and includes an original inkjet print measuring 20x30 cm.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Curse of the Black Gold.

Curse of the Black Gold. 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta. Photographs by Ed Kashi. Edited by Michael Watts. Powerhouse Books, New York, 2008. 224 pp., illustrated throughout., 9x12". Images from photo-eye.

An important piece of work with some haunting and despite-it-all beautiful photographs.

Book description:

" 'Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta' takes a graphic look at the profound cost of oil exploitation in West Africa.

Featuring images by world-renowned photojournalist Ed Kashi and text by prominent Nigerian journalists, human rights activists, and University of California at Berkeley professor Michael Watts, this book traces the 50-year history of Nigeria's oil interests and the resulting environmental degradation and community conflicts that have plagued the region.

Now one of the major suppliers of U.S. oil, Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world. Set against a backdrop of what has been called the scramble for African oil, 'Curse of Black Gold' is the first book to document the consequences of a half-century of oil exploration and production in one of the world's foremost centers of biodiversity.

This book exposes the reality of oil's impact and the absence of sustainable development in its wake, providing a compelling pictorial history of one of the world's great deltaic areas.

Accompanied by powerful writing by some of the most prominent public intellectuals and critics in contemporary Nigeria, Kashi's photographs capture local leaders, armed militants, oil workers, and nameless villagers, all of whose fates are inextricably linked. His exclusive coverage bears witness to the ongoing struggles of local communities, illustrating the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.

The publication of 'Curse of the Black Gold' occurs at a moment of worldwide concern over dependency on petroleum, dubbed by New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman as 'the resource curse'. Much has been written about the drama of the search for oil - Daniel Yergin's The Prize and Ryzard Kapucinski's The Shah are two of the most widely lauded - but there has been no serious examination of the relations between oil, environment, and community in a particular oil-producing region. 'Curse of The Black Gold' is a landmark work of historic significance."

Read more about Ed Kashi and Michael Watts here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Roger Ballen: Photographs 1969-2009.

Photographs 1969-2009. Photographs by Roger Ballen. Text by Ulrich Pohlmann and Angela Stercken. Kerber, 2011. 148 pp., black & white illustrations, 30x30cm. Images from photo-eye.

I'm torn between the surrealistic beauty of this, which I find strongly evocative, and concern for the dignity of the subject matters. It is an interesting and important book and series of photographs by Roger Ballen I think though.

'Roger Ballen: Photographs 1969-2009' was published to coincide with the exhibition 'Roger Ballen. Photographs 1969–2009' at Münchner Stadtmuseum.

Book description:

"For more than 30 years now, the photographer Roger Ballen has been shooting portraits of the impoverished white population of rural South Africa, of day labourers, security guards and workers who eek out a wretched existence in the so-called Platteland.

Ballen portrays his subjects against the theatrical backdrop of their own humble homes, whose Spartan interiors he transforms into claustrophobic stage sets on which the actors play their parts with extraordinary expressiveness.

The selected props include wire and dilapidated furniture, which shot in conjunction with the subjects themselves develop a surrealistic life of their own.

There is something almost absurdly grotesque about these documentary-style compositions and at the same time something worryingly oppressive. They show a hermetically sealed world that can be read as a deeply troubling image of psychotic energy."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Series. Photographs by Enrique Metinides. Kominek Books, 2011. 144p., duotone illustrations, 24,5x34,5cm. Images from photo-eye.

Stark depictions of the harsher side of life (crimes, catastrophes, etc, etc) by Mexican photographer Enrique Metinides, whose work is often compared to the pioneering American photojournalist/photographer Weegee (more about this book and Enrique Metinides in this video).

Book description:

" 'Series' is an attempt to examine Enrique Metinides' work from the perspective of cinematography, sequentially revealing facts that come together in a substantial way to form a common motif with continuity - thematic at least - between the various episodes of his oeuvre.

This iconoclastic approach allows us to see that the work of Enrique Metinides is one of both fact and fiction. Showing that an act took place, that it really happened, gives the photographs the chance to vindicate their real and their fictional aspects; it also allows viewers to be conscious of their own confusion as they struggle to take a position vis-à-vis ambiguous material and makes it possible for them to redeploy their gaze."

A limited edition of 'Series' is available:

"2011 Kominek Books, Special edition of 50 copies, Print Size : 17x24cm. Book Size : 24,5x34,5cm, 144 pages 100 images, color and b/w duotone.

The Special Edition is Housed together in a handmade paper box, stamped. Including a numbered (1-50) first edition book and a Numbered and Signed Fiber Baryt B/W Print."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Films. Photographs by Paul Graham. MACK books, 2011. 64 pp., illustrated throughout, 24x32cm. Images from photo-eye.

A beautiful premise.

Book description:

" 'Films' is Paul Graham's eulogy to the physical material of photography: Film.

The 20th century's greatest medium has undergone a catastrophic decline over the past decade as digital cameras have swept aside the traditional process of taking photographs.

Film has died: Kodacolor, Fujicolor, Tri-X, Kodachrome, Ektacolor - all evocative names for any photographer - are now gone or fading fast. Yet this magical material is a true product of both science: silver salts suspended in gelatin emulsion on celluloid base, and magical alchemy: it could capture light. Film became the defining material of 20th century creativity, and is ubiquitous to every great artist of photography and film making.

While examining his past 30 years of work for the 2009 survey exhibition and book, Graham became enamoured with the material of his craft, and began to reflect upon the physical substance by which he, and all photographers, made their images.

Besides scanning his images for the survey, he also scanned the blank film ends and unexposed frames from each body of work to gather an alternative survey, a 'negative retrospective' of his practice. What first appears to be abstract dots, blobs or colour forms, are in fact just greatly magnified images of the raw film emulsion - the color dyes clouds formed in the exposure and development of film.

These images are not abstract at all, but extreme close-ups of the film's structure - the red, green and blue dyes that form film emulsion, which comprise each and every celluloid image in existence. Their beauteous complication, the wonder of their granular form, irrespective of what they describe, is given here for us to enjoy.

Graham presents us a timely tribute to the passing of film. The grains, color dyes and black and white crystals, make images of beauty, simplicity and scientific record.

Part wistful homage, part farewell, part visual wonder, 'Films' is a book for anyone who engaged with photographic material in the 20th century."

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Desire for Magic.

Desire for Magic. Patrick Nagatani 1978-2008. Photographs by Patrick Nagatani. Edited by Michele M. Penhall. University of New Mexico Art Museum/University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2010. 260 pp., illustrated throughout, 12x12". Images from photo-eye.

'Desire for Magic' was published to accompany the retrospective exhibition of the work of photographer Patrick Nagatani at the University of New Mexico Art Museum.

Book description:

"The monograph includes seven critical essays in which each author addresses a specific campaign; a comprehensive bibliography and exhibition history; and previously unpublished texts significant to particular projects.

The essays were written by a diverse and distinguished group of scholars that includes Barbara Hitchcock, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Polaroid Corporation where Nagatani completed some of his first large scale Polaroid works, Dr. Marie Antonella Pelizzari, former Associate Curator of Photography at the Canadian Center for Architecture, and Dr. Kirsten Buick, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of New Mexico who presents a critique of Nagatani's Tape-estries, a series he began in the 1980s, but work that is rarely exhibited or discussed."

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Cy Twombly: Catalogue Raisonne. Paintings 1996-2007.

Cy Twombly: Catalogue Raisonne. Paintings 1996-2007. By Cy Twombly and Heiner Bastian. Museum of Modern Art, 2008. 200pp., illustrated throughout, 12,25 x 10,75".

I was saddened to learn that the great artist, painter and sculptor Cy Twombly has passed away at the age of 83 (read more here, here and here for example) - rest in peace.

The Moderna Museet exhibition of his work this autumn (which I've been very much looking forward to) will be a treat and tribute indeed.

Book description:

"Cy Twombly's oeuvre featuring paintings, sculptures, works on paper and photographs displays a highly personal, literary character, but has undergone several profound transformations.

The most decisive was the contact with Mediterranean culture caused by Twombly's with drawal from the New York art scene - he moved to Italy in 1957.

Greek gods, the Mediterranean light, Western history, literature and mythology all found their way into his art. In ever larger canvases he presents the drama of humanity as a sensuous and poetic vision of color, drawing and writing."

I've previously also featured the book Cy Twombly: Photographs 1951-2007 with Twombly's work.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Petites machines à images.

Petites machines à images. Photographs by Laurent Millet. Text by Francois Seigneur. Filigranes Editions, 2008. 96 pp., 50 duotone photos, 30,5 x 24cm. Images from photo-eye.

A truly magical monograph by the French artist and photographer Laurent Miller.

Book description:

"This monograph is a collection of small buildings from crops poaching fun items without qualities, pieces of cardboard decorated with materials pétaradantes, son of rusty iron, and sometimes surfaces s'agrémentent paperwork, plans, diagrams hermetic supposed to inform their design.

The horizon of a flat Wednesday and said the oil leak and thwarts a notion of perspective too ingrained in our plastic stereotypes. Laurent Millet reinvents in his compositions, the status of landscape or scenery or subject, but both simultaneously.

Cultivating the art of calotype*, breaking up photography, using complex blends of negative practice is between staging and photos are not posed. Laurent Millet lived in landscapes where water, earth and the sky merge on the banks of the Gironde estuary where he made his territory."

View a video of the entire book here.

* The calotype is a photographic process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1841. It provides a direct negative paper and thus be able to reproduce positive images by simply drawing contact.

Monday, July 04, 2011

México Roma.

México Roma. Photographs by Graciela Iturbide. RM, 2011. 96 pp., 50 illustrations, 6½x8¼".

I really like the work of artist and photographer Graciela Iturbide, and have previously featured the books Graciela Iturbide, El Baño De Frida and Juchitan de Las Mujeres. 1979-1989.

Book description:

" 'México-Roma' is an eclectic book unified by a single guiding thread: the vision of Graciela Iturbide. It consists of images of objects taken in Mexico City between 1974 and 2009 and in Rome in 2007, during the photographer’s stay as a guest of the Festival Internazionale di Roma.

The origin of the book goes back to the exhibition presented in the Museo Archivo de la Fotografía (MAF) in Mexico City in 2009.

This publication, which has gone through all manner of vicissitudes, and of which only a few copies have been 'salvaged', gathers mostly unpublished images of the Mexican and Italian capitals.

It has been produced with modest means and published with the support of numerous individuals and institutions. The title was hand-written by Graciela herself on labels she bought in Bolivia."

A limited edition (50 copies only) of 'México Roma' is available. It's signed and numbered by the author and comes in a handmade clamshell box, together with an original 5 x 7" photograph printed on silver gelatin.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Color Coordinated Interiors 1983.

Color Coordinated Interiors 1983. Photographs by Laurie Simmons. Interview by James Welling. Skarstedt Fine Art, New York, 2007. 56 pp., 21 colour illustrations, 8x10". Images from photo-eye.

Settings-wise this reminds me very much of an excellent book from 1984 that I got at the flea market the other day. I very much like what Laurie Simmons has achieved with this work.

Book description:

" 'Color Coordinated Interior' catalogues a little known but characteristic and illuminating early project of Laurie Simmons's, from 1983, just a few years after her first solo show in New York.

Simmons is best known for her chilling and sophisticated photographs of dolls and dollhouses - seminal works that can be found in the greatest collections of contemporary art throughout the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Here, Simmons created miniature spaces using projection and illusion rather than glue-and-board craft, casting photographs behind dolls and lighting her tiny models starkly with flashlights - they're 'Teenettes', three-inch-high Japanese figures whose clothes and hairstyles are all molded from the same single piece of brightly-colored plastic. The Teenettes' features are fuzzy by nature, but the scenes behind them here are photographed so that piping on every pillow pops out.

This guided tour, with an interview by California artist James Welling, puts this newly collected work in context."