PHOTOBOOK REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS AND WRITE-UPS
ALONG WITH THE LATEST PHOTO-EYE NEWS

Social Media


Books Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 1 A collection of reviews and interviews on some of the Best Books of 2014.
The Day the Dam Collapses
Photographs by Hiroshi Watanabe

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Sarah Bradley
Anne Kelly

"Oh well. If the dam bursting on our heads is inevitable, we might as well make some photographs while waiting for it. Watanabe's been busy as usual doing just that, and The Day The Dam Collapses collects some of his recent work. Watanabe has switched in recent years from black and white to color, and he's given up film for digital, at least for this book. But the photographic style he developed in the mid 1990s has remained consistently his own. That's the contemplative streak I mentioned earlier. It's always been in his photos, and it's in this project too."—From the review by Blake Andrews




Book Review On a Wet Bough By Keliy Anderson-Staley Reviewed by David Ondrik On a Wet Bough is a collection of Keliy Anderson-Staley’s black and white portraits. The eighty four sitters reflect the tremendous diversity of humanity — young, old, gay, white, black, brown, big nosed, pierced, disheveled, straight, coifed, slick — it’s all here in crisp detail.

On a Wet Bough. By Keliy Anderson-Staley.
Waltz Books, 2014.
 
On a Wet Bough
Reviewed by David Ondrik

On a Wet Bough
Photographs by Keliy Anderson-Staley
Waltz Books, 2014. 144 pp., 85 duotone illustrations, 11x14".


On a Wet Bough is a collection of Keliy Anderson-Staley’s black and white portraits. The eighty four sitters reflect the tremendous diversity of humanity — young, old, gay, white, black, brown, big nosed, pierced, disheveled, straight, coifed, slick — it’s all here in crisp detail. Each portrait is reproduced at about 8”x10”, except for the few group portraits, horizontal images scaled to fit the page. There’s no information about the physical images themselves, so it’s not clear if we’re looking at one-to-one reproductions or not.

Book Review Russian Interiors By Andy Rocchelli Reviewed by Colin Pantall Andy Rocchelli died in 2014, killed while covering the conflict in Ukraine. Before that happened he’d worked in Russia. On his days off from doing serious work, he photographed single women in their apartments. It was a way of making money and provided relief from the stresses of attempting to make it in the world of hard-core photojournalism.

Russian Interiors. By Andy Rocchelli.
Cesura Publishing, 2014.
Russian Interiors
Reviewed by Colin Pantall

Russian Interiors
By Andy Rocchelli
Cesura Publish, Pianello Val Tidone, Italy, 2014. 125 pp., 70 color offset illustrations, printed in Italy by Grafiche Antiga., 6¼x8½".


Andy Rocchelli died in 2014, killed while covering the conflict in Ukraine. Before that happened he’d worked in Russia. On his days off from doing serious work, he photographed single women in their apartments. It was a way of making money and provided relief from the stresses of attempting to make it in the world of hard-core photojournalism.

photo-eye Gallery Portfolio & Interview: Hiroshi Watanabe on The Day the Dam Collapses We are thrilled to have a selection of images from Hiroshi Watanabe’s series The Day the Dam Collapses currently on exhibit in the Bookstore + Project Space through February 14th. photo-eye's Lucas Shaffer speaks to Hiroshi Watanabe about the series and the book of the same title published by Daylight and selected as one of the Best Books of 2014.
TDTDC 16 (Swallowtail Butterfly), 2009 — Hiroshi Watanabe

We are thrilled to have a selection of images from Hiroshi Watanabe’s series The Day the Dam Collapses currently on exhibit in the Bookstore + Project Space through February 14th. All 21 exhibition images can be viewed online in a new online portfolio on Watanabe’s photo-eye Gallery page.

Book Review People of the Twenty-First Century By Hans Eijkelboom Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson We like to believe that we’re making choices. Not just in the larger things like deciding to go to college, get married, be an asshole, or have kids, but in everything: what we take home with us from the grocery store, the department store or optometrist’s.

Phaidon, 2014.
 
People of the Twenty-First Century
Reviewed by Christopher J. Johnson

People of the Twenty-First Century
Photographs by Hans Eijkelboom
Phaidon, London, 2014. 512 pp., 6000 illustrations, 8½x6¾".


We like to believe that we’re making choices. Not just in the larger things like deciding to go to college, get married, be an asshole, or have kids, but in everything: what we take home with us from the grocery store, the department store or optometrist’s. That these things, especially the latter ones, define us by building up our external character and making up not so much what we are to ourselves, but who we are to others. “Tom likes chocolate,” “Susan is a Mets fan,” “Jasmine’s favorite color is blue.” These facts are like decals that we peel off of commercialism and apply to ourselves.

People of the Twenty-First Century shows us that the idea of these little choice is both true and false. Eijkelboom captures the ghost of our fashions, page after page, decades of the stereotypical unfortunates who, having been invited to the same party, arrive in the same gown so to speak and must confront one another in the pages of this book. But why does that happen at all? How is it possible?

Book Review El Porqué De Las Naranjas By Ricardo Cases Reviewed by Colin Pantall A few years back, Spanish photographer Ricardo Cases was going through a difficult time. His mother and a best friend had died and Cases had, in his own words, become “a monster.” To get over his grief, anger and pain, he moved to the Spanish town of Valencia and started on a new photographic project, El Porqué de las Naranja, now available in book form courtesy of MACK.

El Porqué De Las Naranjas. By Ricardo Cases.
MACK, 2014.
We’re all off to Sunny Spain
A review by Colin Pantall

El Porqué De Las Naranjas
By Ricardo Cases
MACK, 2014. 128 pp., 67 color illustrations, 5¾x7¼".


A few years back, Spanish photographer Ricardo Cases was going through a difficult time. His mother and a best friend had died and Cases had, in his own words, become “a monster.” To get over his grief, anger and pain, he moved to the Spanish town of Valencia and started on a new photographic project, El Porqué de las Naranja, now available in book form courtesy of MACK.

Books In Stock at photo-eye: 2014 Best Books 7 more in stock titles from our 2014 Best Books, featuring selections by Cristina de Middel, WassinkLundgren, Marco Delogu, John Gossage, Colin Pantall and many more.

Dodo
By Adam Broomberg + Oliver Chanarin
$55 — Purchase Book

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Cristina de Middel

"The project is quite cryptic (starting with the title) and it forces you to study and understand the specific historical anecdote that unchained the brains of the artist duo of the moment. I didn't have the chance to visit the exhibition at the Jumex Museum in Mexico but the book for sure conveys the multi-layered and brainy approach to this pseudo-archaeological expedition in a very intelligent way and with the perfect dose of design. I just wish all exhibition catalogues were as brilliant as this one."—Cristina de Middel



Books In Stock at photo-eye: 2014 Best Books 7 in stock titles from our 2014 Best Books, featuring selections by Manik Katyal, Markus Schaden, Cristina de Middel, Martin Parr, Ramon Pez and many more.

Die Mauer ist Weg!
Text and photographs by Mark Power
$60 Signed — Purchase Book

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Manik Katyal
Markus Schaden

"On the spot. A historic moment in history and special for Germans like me who were sitting faithless (breathless?) in front of the TV screen. The night of the Berlin Wall Fall at the checkpoint Bornholmer Strasse. We’ve seen only a small amount of footage from Bornholmer Strasse, but Mark Power was there too! Shooting pictures. 25 years ago he made a fantastic self made book, a tribute to that night of nights. Incredibly touching. And a visually impressive statement with his camera. Thank you Mark! Fantastic."—Markus Schaden


Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 photo-eye’s annual survey of the year’s best photobooks as chosen by 29 notables from the art photo world



It is with great pleasure that we present to you photo-eye’s Best Books of 2014.

For the past six years, we gear up for Best Books by making the difficult decision of selecting contributors. We pick from a long list of bibliophiles to find the right mix of personalities and tastes and then we invite and wait. Weeks later, the eagerly anticipated lists of best books picks start to roll into our inboxes. Despite our finest attempts throughout the year to keep up on all the great photobooks out there, we inevitably discover an abundance books we’ve missed, and begin the process of searching for images and information on every title. It’s a ton of work, but as die-hard photobook lovers, we’re happy to do it, and we’re always excited to share the list with equally enthused readers.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Laia Abril Best Books picks from photographer, journalist and book-maker Laia Abril.

By Rafal Milach
Gost

The Winners is the kind of book you feel you need to have in your library and I badly wanted to have in my hands. It not only collects a series of intriguing, intelligent, awkwardly beautiful portraits of the most outlandish kind of Belarusian winners, but also the clever project concept that deserved a book indeed; in this case, a multi layer narrative with a sleek but clever design approach.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Andy Adams Best Books picks from independent publisher and producer and editor of FlakPhoto Andy Adams.

By Kyler Zeleny
The Velvet Cell

My fascination with the mundane: Zeleny, a visual sociologist, documents the fading past and uncertain future of the rural Canadian West. Nothing much happens in any of these pictures and maybe that’s the point. Out West is a sad, beautiful portrait of the small communities that speckle this landscape and the remnants of the people who still inhabit the place. With smart essays by Zeleny, Craig Campbell, and Ginger Strand.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Blake Andrews Best Books picks from photographer and writer Blake Andrews.

By Shomei Tomatsu
Aperture

A long overdue look back at post-war Japan through the eyes of a monochrome master, this work fertilized the field for much that grew later.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Daniel Boeker Smith Best Books picks from Daniel Boeker Smith.

By Masako Tomiya
Hakkoda

I first saw this book at Obscura Photo Festival in Malaysia this year; it’s rare for me to be so taken with a book from the get-go. The purity and simplicity of the photographer’s vision is astounding. The quality of the paper and black-and-white printing is equally fantastic. Tsugaru is the place where Tomiya was born and grew up  and the journey of the book through spring-summer-autumn-winter and spring once more provides a peaceful and melancholic meditation on place, memory and growing up.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin Best Books picks from Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

By Collier Schorr
MACK


Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Sarah Bradley Best Books picks from writer and photo-eye Blog Editor Sarah Bradley.

By Robin Maddock
Trolley

This book is delightful and playful while capturing intrigue and a Noir-like tension. A bit narrative, a bit abstract, and a lot of great pictures of its three subjects: ping-pong ball, sheet of paper and spilt milk.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Marco Delogu Best Books picks from Photographer, publisher and artistic director of the FOTOGRAFIA Marco Delogu.

By Roger Ballen
Thames & Hudson

With his staged photography set in asylums, slums and so on, richly layered with graffiti, drawings, animals, and found objects, Ballen has defined his unique and instantly recognizable style. With the Asylum of the Birds we are pushed further into his vision, confronting an unspeakable world. The ninety photographs of the book follow each other in a unceasing rhythm without pause for the viewer.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Cristina de Middel Best Books picks from photographer Cristina de Middel.

By Miguel Ángel Tornero
RM

What looks like a standard catalogue in format and design, with a creamy shiny surface on the cover, is actually my favorite book of this year and one that has pushed me into breaking my own prejudices on what I consider a photograph and a photobook. It’s called The Random Series and everything in it is beautifully random (and when I say beautiful, I mean it). Printed pages full of crazy combinations of raw photographic imagery challenge your assumptions on landscape, portrait and any other photographic genre all in one. The printed pages are bound randomly also, making each book unique and playful. Mine has the title page on what should be page 57.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 John Gossage Best Books picks from photographer John Gossage.

By Robert Adams
Fraenkel Gallery

A book that reads like the Sacred Harp Hymnal, with pictures of subtle brilliance.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Christopher J. Johnson Best Books picks from reviewer, poet and photo-eye Bookstore associate Christopher J. Johnson.

By Peter Van Agtmael
Red Hook Editions

A good book, regardless of genre, is one that changes your life. It informs and, whether or not you want it to, expands what you’ve understood. Disco Night Sept. 11 has changed my life and, yes, it is a dark change, but by its darkness I know more than before.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Manik Katyal Best Books picks from Emaho Magazine editor Manik Katyal.

By Momo Okabe
Sessions Press


Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Anne Kelly Best Books picks from photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly.

By Julie Blackmon
Radius Books

In Homegrown, a continuation of her series Domestic Vacations, Julie Blackmon creates images of domestic life  with a surreal twist. Blackmon's images are light and whimsical, while simultaneously referencing art history and personal and popular fictions.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Jeffrey Ladd Best Books picks from photographer and publisher of Errata Editions and 40x50 Editions Jeffrey Ladd.

By John Gossage
Waltz Books

From a very seasoned bookmaker, a brilliant trove of photos from Gossage taken in Saudia Arabia in 1985, unearthed with an equally smart layout and design. If this is one of Waltz Books first offerings then they are to be watched.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Melanie McWhorter Best Books picks from photo-eye Bookstore Manager Melanie McWhorter.

By Paula McCartney
Silas Finch

Years ago, Paula McCartney showed me an artist book called A Field Guide to Snow and Ice. I remember thinking that no one could recreate the feel of this unique object nor give it the attention it deserves. Yet, Silas Finch has mass produced, as much as an artist book can be mass-produced, a lush art object that pays homage to McCartney’s handmade book as only they can.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Eric Miles Best Books picks from photo-eye Auctions Director Eric Miles.

By Franz Erhard Walther
Walter Koenig

Walthers long career has been a sustained investigation into the foundations of action, language, and space. He was a participant in curator Harald Szeemann’s legendary shows When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and Documenta 5 (1972). This exhibition catalogue for the largest retrospective to date of Walther’s career takes the form of a pop-up book for adults, thus bringing his concern with the objects in space and viewers relation to them into the arena of the book.

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Colin Pantall Best Books picks from writer, photographer and lecturer Colin Pantall.

By Antone Dolezal & Lara Shipley
Search Party Press

This is a 3-volume set that uses the full range of photography (contemporary, found, archive and vernacular) and writing to dramatize the story of the Spook Light phenomenon and its connection to mythology and place. There is mystery, ambiguity and the ever-present hint that the Spook Light might be real!

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Martin Parr Best Books picks from photographer and photobook historian Martin Parr.

i
By Eammon Doyle
Self-Published

This self-published gem of a book shows an older generation of Dublin pedestrians, mainly shot from behind. The photos are both simple and beautiful, and it is all backed up with an excellent production. An important new contribution to the genre of street photography.