Fashion.Art.Books

An archive of my ever expanding book and print collection

Tag: Steidl

David Bailey – Havana

In 2006, acclaimed British photographer David Bailey released Havana, published by Steidl; a book of photographs produced during his travels in Cuba. Bailey stated that this project was not meant to be a deep and meaningful commentary on the country, more a superficial “quick impression of a place that is unique in its geographical position….to be one of the poorest nations on Earth, almost within spitting distance of the richest, makes the poverty of Cuba seem more extreme”. The images in the book are rich in depth and colour and cover a range of genres from portraiture to reportage. Included in the book are photographs that depict quintessentially Cuban motifs, the classic vintage cars, boxing training camps, beautifully decrepit buildings and Santerian iconography to mention a few. Whilst Cuba has a tendency to be seen as somewhat of a  time-warped communist theme park, these pictures, whilst acknowledging and referencing this, do not dwell on it and make it the sole focus of the project. I was lucky enough to meet David Bailey and get a signed copy of the book which is now in its second printing; the book is large and beautifully produced, bound in embossed leather with a tipped in photograph on the front.

Paul Graham – American Night

It was announced this week that Paul Graham is the 2012 recipient of the Hasselblad Award. Grahams extensive career, over 25 years, has often highlighted the social divides present in the USA and UK; his numerous books on the subject have become highly collectible, not least the multi-award winning A Shimmer Of Possibility. In his book American Night, published by Steidl, Graham juxtaposes images of the American Dream with what for many is the American Reality, the gaping void between rich and poor, black and white. The subjects in his images are often solitary figures shown at a distance, the images almost completely bled of colour and depth so that the subjects become almost invisible. In contrast, there are portraits showing the poor, the disadvantaged and the destitute close up and in full colour as if holding up a declaration of what is all around us in many cities in the US but so often ignored. At the opposite end of the spectrum Graham shows the American Dream of the new car and manicured home in such vibrant technicolour and perfection that they look like film sets.

The theme of the book is reflected and reinforced by the binding and the limited text inside. The hardback is crystal white, with the title embossed on the front; inside the text is white on white.

Cover

Juergen Teller and Cindy Sherman – Ohne Titel

Last week, Cindy Sherman’s latest exhibition opened at MoMA New York. The retrospective documents her prolific career to date and highlights a number of her key series, including Untitled Film Stills. In 2006, Sherman brought her expert skills in subverting the notion of identity to a collaboration with the photographer Juergen Teller and designer Marc Jacobs. This project saw Teller and Sherman taking on a number of personas using Jacobs latest collection for the wardrobe. This was Sherman’s first collaboration with another artist and the results were used for the Marc Jacobs 2006 ad campaign. Subsequently, a collection of largely unpublished images from this project were collated in the book Ohne Titel, published by Steidl. I was lucky enough to get my copy signed by Teller himself.

Juergen Teller Cindy Sherman - Ohne Titel

Juergen Teller Cindy Sherman - Ohne Titel

 

Guido Mocafico – Medusa

In 2005, Swiss photographer Guido Mocafico released a box set of books through Steidl entitled Venenum. The set contained three books; a book of snakes (Serpens), a book of tarantulas (Aranea) and a book of jellyfish (Medusa). This project showed that even the things that can strike fear in to the heart of most people can be beautiful. The box set was limited to 1200 copies, which sold out quickly, but fortunately for those that missed out (like myself) the books were released individually. My favourite of the books is Medusa, the images of jellyfish inside are captivating; each species is exquisitely lit and photographed against a pitch black backdrop so that they look like they are floating in an endless void. The colour, size and shape of the jellyfish are so diverse and some are reminiscent of coloured photos you see of galaxies. Another great aspect of this book is that at the end of the book is a description of each species, including their size and where they are most commonly found, the book functions as both a work of art and a reference book.

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

Guido Mocafico - Medusa

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