Sunday, December 30, 2012
Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life. By Micah Lidberg. Nobrow Press, 2010. 10pp., illustrated throughout, 8,8x5,4" (folds out to 53"/136cm).
" 'Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life' is Micah Lidberg’s first book and debut collaboration with Nobrow Press.
The beautiful concertina book folds out to a stunning 136 cm panorama detailing the demise of some of our planet’s most dominant and long standing occupants only to be replaced by another group of breastfeeding placental creatures that would come to reign over the globe millions of years later.
Micah’s seamless use of line and adeptness with a limited colour palette recalls the intricate patterns of traditional Japanese kimono design and the murals of 1930s New York Deco in a book that is really more of a work of art, to be coveted and cherished. The nature of the concertina book also means that it is easily displayed on your mantelpiece or shelving unit, and printed on heavy card stock, it will stand the test of time.
Micah Lidberg is a young artist living and working in New Jersey.
Having worked for the likes of the New York Times, Nylon magazine and Orion Books, he is also an avid storyteller and has produced a series of self published zines and comic books."
Monday, December 24, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
These are just three of the wonderful photographs of Stockholm through the years that you can view at Stockholmskällan.
Also see this lovely film: Instruction for the fight against snow and ice (1944-1946).
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
West and West. Reimagining the Great Plains. By Joe Deal. Center for American Places/University of Chicago Press, 2009. 112 pp., illustrated throughout, 10x11". Images from here.
Interesting thought-process and concept behind this book, I recognise myself in the immersion and abstraction with the process of taking a photograph.
"The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 officially opened the Great Plains to westward settlement, and the public survey of 1855 by Charles A. Manners and Joseph Ledlie along the Sixth Principal Meridian established the grid by which the uncharted expanse of the Great Plains was brought into scale.
The mechanical act performed by land surveyors is believed by photographer Joe Deal to be powerfully similar to the artistic act of making a photograph. To Deal, both acts are about establishing a frame around a vast scene that suggests no definite boundaries of its own.
Thus, when approaching his own photographs of the Great Plains, Deal viewed his photography as a form of reenactment, a method of understanding how it felt to contain the Great Plains in smaller, more measurable units.
In 'West and West', Deal, who was born and raised in Kansas, revisited the Kansas-Nebraska territory and applied his photographic understanding of the landscape grid and horizon line to illuminate the sense of infinite space that transcends the reality of the survey.
As Deal writes in his concluding essay: 'If the square, as employed in the surveys of public lands, could function like a telescope, framing smaller and smaller sections of the plains down to a transect, it can also be used as a window, equilaterally divided by the horizon, that begins with a finite section of the earth and sky and restores them in the imagination to the vastness that now exists as an idea: the landscape that is contained within the perfect symmetry of the square implies infinity'.
The stunning photographs in 'West and West' present the Great Plains from a rare perspective. From this vantage point, Deal is able to distill and contemplate its expanse."
More here, here, here.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Waiting, Sitting, Fishing and Some Automobiles. By Anthony Hernandez. Essay by Gerry Badger. Loosestrife Editions, 2007. 264 pp., illustrated throughout, 13,25x11,75" (gatefold opening to 13x19"). Edition of 1000 copies. Images from here.
"The photographs in this book are drawn from four bodies of work made with the 5' x 7' view camera between 1979 and 1983.
Broadly speaking, it shows as Lewis Baltz said, people waiting and taking 'very, very humble recreations.' The four image groups making up the book are people waiting at bus stops, people lunching or sitting in public spaces, people at public fishing areas, and automobile repair shops.
There are two primary elements in these photographs. They might be characterized as the visible and the invisible - or the depicted and the inferred.
The depicted might be considered the lighter side to Hernandez's imagery - the city itself - the inferred the darker - its social realities. And in this his work mirrors Los Angeles, a city of light and shadow, a city that promotes vigorously an image of sun and Hollywood glamour, yet is arguably the most socially divided city in America, a sunny city with a dark heart at street level."
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Le Bloc Noir. By Emmanuelle Pidoux. Nieves, 2012. 24pp., illustrated throughout, 14x20cm. Edition of 100 copies.
"Emmanuelle Pidoux lives and works in Dunkerque, France. She runs with Frédéric Fleury a publishing house called editions of 57, and is one of the founding members of the famous Frederic Magazine drawing collective. Born in 1970, and active as an artist since the 90s, her drawings can be found in more than one hundred zines and books.
'Le Bloc Noir' combines drawings of fields, landscapes, spread like devastated feelings. Spaces deprived of human bodies, catching the decay of life. The Black is darkness. The Block is a wall, a mountain, a rock. All is abstruseness and desolation. We’re like in an armor, nothing happens any longer. (Translation by Hélène Laurent)"
Monday, December 10, 2012
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
"In 2003, Obata was compelled to photograph winter scenes in Japan as he stood in front of Pieter Bruegel's painting 'The Hunters in the Snow' in Vienna's Museum of Art History.
Upon returning to Japan, he traveled to the country's northernmost island, Hokkaidō, known for its cold and snowy winters. As he worked there photographing ice skaters at a middle school rink and a local speed skating team, his enchantment with images of winter deepened.
Traveling around different regions of the island in winter, he began noticing the varied qualities of the snow itself, and finally became fascinated with the unique challenge of photographing snowflakes.
Obata drew inspiration from the story and works of W.A. Bentley, an American farmer and photographer who adapted a camera and microscope to photograph a single snow crystal for the first time in 1885. Bentley went on to photograph more than 5,000 snowflakes in his lifetime, and his technique was so successful that it continues to be used today.
Like Bentley, Obata was obsessed with the challenge of doing something no one had done before - in his case photographing snowflakes in freefall rather than on a flat surface without digital or any other manipulation. It took Obata five years to achieve but his breakthrough resulted in the capture of pictures that allow the snowflakes to relate to each other in space and size, creating dynamic compositions and scenes.
Obata chose the location to shoot the series, in the mountains of Hokkaidō, based on its history as the place where Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya did research that led to his invention of artificial snow.
His most recent book 'Wintertale' gathers his photographs of winter, and has garnered interest around the world for its poetic depiction of a fleeting season."
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
" 'The Wolf's Whistle' tells the rather sad story of what could have happened before the well known fairy tale of the 'Three Little Pigs'.
Perhaps 'The Big Bad Wolf' had a perfectly good reason for blowing down those houses? Perhaps he wasn't such a nasty character after all?
The book is lovingly printed in three spot colours, red yellow and blue (a little tip of the hat to Theo Von Doesburg)."