Five Photobooks from 2023

For the complete list, please consult the Nearest Podcast in the following weeks, where I will MC over a much longer list of the great books published this year. For this list, I wanted to keep the books down to five that I feel will define the artist’s career or are crucial to the medium. […]

Carla Williams – Tender

Carla Williams can make the world beyond us seem a simple place. Looking at the self-portraits she made over a fifteen year period, from 1984-1999, may briefly lull us into a false apprehension of the world as containing little interest of its own. Such is the poetic depth of these pictures, which, when edited and […]

Alejandro “Luperca” Morales – El Retrato de Tu Ausencia

In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg set out to create a work in which erasure/negation would define the principal production method. Instead of building a drawing or painting up from aggregated layers, the artist made a conscious conceptual decision to work backward from the point of completed artwork back to a form of trace in which the […]

Andrea Alessandrini – I Am Not A Robot

I Am Not A Robot (Witty Books, 2023) asks more questions than it answers. How do we differentiate from the illusions of our constructed virtual worlds and that of reality? How do we satiate our requirement and desire for order in ever-changing environments? Are we confined to an existence based on binary calculations, or can […]

Bertien van Manen – Gluckauf

Coal mining is a very peculiar enterprise. The 19th and 20th Centuries committed untold heaves of labor to its extraction. It fuels communities, yet its extraction suggests a disemboweling of the land where these communities settle. The prospect of coal mining is one of capital and capitalism. The very human clay that mines these enterprises […]

Lee Friedlander – Workers: The Human Clay

Workers: The Human Clay (Steidl, 2023) is the most comprehensive volume to focus on Lee Friedlander’s near seventy year fascination with work and those who do it. Edited by Joshua Chuang and bringing together 253 images stretching as far back as 1958, this book functions well as an overview of a subject that has persisted […]

Igor Posner – Cargó

The first time I looked through Igor Posner’s Cargó (Red Hook Editions, 2022) I was bewildered. I did not know, for example, that across 160 pages and what feels like triple that number of images, it would express the disjointedness and poignancy of memory, or that it would render the experience of time passing as […]

Coca-Cola and the Implied Apathy of Tomatsu Shomei’s Photographs

Full Article with More Images on Patreon   It is essential to understand the biography of Tomatsu to understand what the emotion of rage or anger may be prevalent in his work. As a pubescent teen during the atomic bombing of Japan and the subsequent end of the Second World War, Tomatsu recalls the occupation […]

Ishiuchi Miyako Club & Courts Yokosuka Yokohama

Full Article on Patreon   So, the dig at post-industrial decay has put a giant bee in my bonnet. But what should I expect about the unspoken class issues that revolve and permeate through and in photography these days? I mean, if you have a New York-London-based photographer stat in your bio and are in […]

Ron Jude – Dark Matter

Full Article on Patreon     …In assessing Dark Matter, I am also reasonably confident that this use of newspaper imagery is lodged in the artist’s practice from influences such as Michael Schmidt, whose book Ein–Heit, produced in the 90s, made great use of similar aesthetics of inconvenient German history, which was photographed and hung […]

Alejandro Acin – The Rest is History

Alejandro Acin The Rest is History ICVL Studio and supported by Sala Kursala Programa Cultural   The machinations of history are in constant flexes of exchange. They are impermanent, their concept a flux, or are often a mess of contradictions. We are taught history as if it were permanent, an established and often binary set of […]

Esaias Baitel – Zonen 1982

Full Article on Patreon   This is an incredibly complicated book. It is one that I have been chasing for a year or so since I first became aware of it. It has a cult-like status for many reasons, least of all are the photographs, which are also incredible. The story of Baitel amid a […]