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Book Review Grassland By David Magnusson Reviewed by Blake Andrews My favorite marijuana joke is about three guys who walk into a bar. The first man is very tall. He walks over to the bartender and says… No, wait. I'm getting it wrong. The second guy is the tall one because… Let's see. He asks the bartender for a glass of water and… No, hold on… That's not right. Let me start over…

Grassland. By H. Lee.
Kehrer Verlag, 2014.
Grassland
Reviewed by Blake Andrews

Grassland
Photographs by H. Lee
Kehrer Verlag, 2014. 112 pp., 80 color illustrations, 9½x11¾".


My favorite marijuana joke is about three guys who walk into a bar. The first man is very tall. He walks over to the bartender and says… No, wait. I'm getting it wrong. The second guy is the tall one because… Let's see. He asks the bartender for a glass of water and… No, hold on… That's not right. Let me start over… How did it go? Something about a priest… And I know the punch line — melting ice! But I can't remember the rest of it exactly. But it was funny. Trust me, hilarious. Um, I guess you had to be there.

photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space Interview: Brad Wilson on Wild Life & the Affinity Series We are pleased to host an exhibition and the international book launch for Brad Wilson's Wild Life at photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space on August 22, 2014 from 5-7pm. photo-eye’s Book Division Manager Melanie McWhorter speaks with Wilson about the experience and challenges of photographing wild animals in captivity, his thoughts on presenting this body of work and what he has learned in the process.

Great Horned Owl #1, Espanola, NM, 2011 — Brad Wilson

We are pleased to host an exhibition and the international book launch for Brad Wilson and his new book Wild Life being released by Prestel this fall. The opening and book signing will be held at photo-eye Bookstore + Project Space on August 22, 2014 from 5-7pm. The exhibition will continue through October 11, 2014.

Wilson has been photographing his Affinity series, close-up portraits of birds, reptiles and mammals, since 2010. For the photo-eye exhibition titled Avian: Selections from the Affinity Series, we highlight Wilson’s engaging images of birds. The prints showcase an often larger than life representation of the animals. Shot with stunning detail, the studio lighting and skilled camera execution illuminate every feather and focus on the bird’s eyes while the black background isolates the animal for concentrated experience with the photograph. Wilson's book Wild Life expands upon our selection, featuring over 70 plates from the series and a large variety of animals. 

photo-eye’s Book Division Manager Melanie McWhorter speaks with Wilson about the experience and challenges of photographing wild animals in captivity, his thoughts on presenting this body of work and what he has learned in the process.


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Lex Thompson Photographer Lex Thompson selects Birds of the West Indies by Taryn Simon as photo-eye Book of the Week.
Birds of the West Indies. By Taryn Simon.
Hatje Cantz, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer Lex Thompson who has selected Birds of the West Indies by Taryn Simon published by Hatje Cantz.

Book Review Natur By Michael Schmidt Reviewed by Adam Bell As the last book completed by Michael Schmidt before his untimely death this spring, Natur comes to us with an elegiac aura. Sadly, Schmidt passed away right before completing Natur and winning the 2014 Pric Pictet for his previous body of work, Lebensmittel. Compiled from black and white images shot between 1987 and 1997, Natur is a somber collection of details and fragments of nature.


Natur. By Michael Schmidt.
Mack, 2014.
Natur
Reviewed by Adam Bell

Natur
Photographs by Michael Schmidt
MACK, 2014. 104 pp., 63 black & white illustrations, 7x9½".


As the last book completed by Michael Schmidt before his untimely death this spring, Natur comes to us with an elegiac aura. Sadly, Schmidt passed away right before completing Natur and winning the 2014 Pric Pictet for his previous body of work, Lebensmittel. Compiled from black and white images shot between 1987 and 1997, Natur is a somber collection of details and fragments of nature. The complex and psychologically resonant images of Natur explore the act of looking and the disorderly beauty of the natural world.

Books In Stock at photo-eye: Sale Four great deals on lightly damaged books from Antoine d'Agata, Rimaldas Viksraitis, Lieko Shiga and a box set featuring Daido Moriyama, Christian Patterson, JH Engstrom, Takashi Homma, Roe Ethridge, Ron Jude, Slavica Perkovic, Bertien van Manen, Terri Weifenbach & Harvey Benge.


We take great care to make sure that books get to our customers in pristine condition, but sometimes shipments arrive at photo-eye in less than perfect shape. Today we're sharing a selection of great "imperfect" books -- new books that have arrived with some kind of defect -- all of which are 20% off. Photos depict actual books for sale and are representative of the type of damage to expect if ordered.


Book Review Purity By David Magnusson Reviewed by Blake Andrews Purity is just a single book, but it might have two completely different meanings depending on your viewpoint. If you are the sort of Christian who believes that virginity should be preserved until marriage, this book is a wonderful tribute to that worldview. On the other hand, if you are someone who believes the exact opposite, this book will also confirm that belief system.Everything depends on the viewer, and the book leverages that fact to convey conflicting ideas in a way that is rare among photobooks.

Purity. By David Magnusson.
Max Ström, 2014.
Purity
Reviewed by Blake Andrews

Purity
By David Magnusson
Max Ström, 2014. Unpaged, color illustrations, 10¾x13¼".


Purity is just a single book, but it might have two completely different meanings depending on your viewpoint. If you are the sort of Christian who believes that virginity should be preserved until marriage, this book is a wonderful tribute to that worldview. On the other hand, if you are someone who believes the exact opposite, this book will also confirm that belief system. Everything depends on the viewer, and the book leverages that fact to convey conflicting ideas in a way that is rare among photobooks. It's like one of those optical illusion posters. It's one thing at first, but after staring a while you realize it's something else completely.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Nicoló Degiorgis Photographer Nicoló Degiorgis selects 19.06_26.08.1945 by Andrea Botto as photo-eye Book of the Week.


19.06_26.08.1945. By Andrea Botto.
Danilo Montanari, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer Nicoló Degiorgis who has selected 19.06_26.08.1945 by Andrea Botto published by Danilo Montanari.

"Andrea Botto produced this book in memory of the journey his grandfather made, travelling from Northern Germany back to Tuscany after his release from Nazi captivity at the end of World War II. As Andrea states, the book is dedicated to all the Italian Military Internees who shared this terrible experience with his grandfather.

By interweaving images from the internet, relating to the dates and places of the journey, with astonishingly accurate reproductions of his grandfather documents and letters, the book invites the reader to follow a personal path along the journey rather than outlining a sequential narrative.

Well researched, beautifully designed and technically intriguing, 19.06_26.08.1945 represents a great example on how to create a photobook out of an archive and an archive out of a photobook."—Nicoló Degiorgis

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19.06_26.08.1945. By Nicoló Degiorgis. Danilo Montanari, 2014.
19.06_26.08.1945. By Nicoló Degiorgis. Danilo Montanari, 2014.


After studying Chinese at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Nicoló Degiorgis moved to Hong Kong to work for a trading company and later to Beijing to continue his studies at Capital Normal University. He interned at Magnum Photos in Paris for six months and was awarded a 2008/09 Fabrica fellowship, Benetton’s communication research centre in Treviso (I). In 2009 he became a researcher on immigration issues at the University of Trieste and was granted a one year artist-residency in Venice at the art foundation Bevilacqua La Masa. In the same year he joined photo agency Contrasto and engaged in an intense period of editorial assignments for major international magazines, documenting various events, from art biennales to the Arab Spring. In 2011, the US photo magazine Photo District News ranked him among the thirty emerging photographers to watch. Since 2013 he teaches photography inside the prison of Bolzano. He is a founding member of Zona, an association that develops projects to raise social awareness, of the design collective Institute of Friends and of the independent publishing house Rorhof.

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Book Review How to Win Friends and Influence People By Erik Schubert Reviewed by Christopher J Johnson How to Win Friends and Influence People is a title that many are familiar with. The book, in its original incarnation, is not only a classic of the Self-Help genre, it is one of the first of its kind. In it one learns through six ”simple” steps how to move up in the world; some of its themes and ideas for a better and more successful life include...

By Erik Schubert. Lavalette, 2013.
 
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Reviewed by Christopher J. Johnson

How to Win Friends and Influence People
By Erik Schubert
Lavalette, 2013. 88 pp., illustrated throughout, 8½x11".


How to Win Friends and Influence People is a title that many are familiar with. The book, in its original incarnation, is not only a classic of the Self-Help genre, it is one of the first of its kind. In it one learns through six ”simple” steps how to move up in the world; some of its themes and ideas for a better and more successful life include: increase your popularity, be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves, show genuine interest in others, don’t nag or bicker or criticize or condemn, and to remember and frequently say people’s names because, “a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”


photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Wildebeest Arc, Maasai Mara, 2006 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Wildebeest Arc, Maasai Mara, 2006.
In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Wildebeest Arc, Maasai Mara, 2006 — Nick Brandt

Book Review War Porn By Christoph Bangert Reviewed by Karen Jenkins For all that he has seen, covering war and natural disaster in Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Gaza, Christoph Bangert grapples with the dueling impulses of revelation and suppression. He uses the term ‘self-censorship’ to describe the manner by which the photographs of horrific violence, death and destruction gathered in this book have been passed over, time and again by both himself and the publications that employ him. With this book, Bangert was determined to circumvent this filter and show it all...

War Porn. By Christoph Bangert.
Kehrer Verlag, 2014.
 
War Porn
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

War Porn
By Christoph Bangert
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2014. 192 pp., 100 color illustrations, 4¾x6¼". 

For all that he has seen, covering war and natural disaster in Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Gaza, Christoph Bangert grapples with the dueling impulses of revelation and suppression. He uses the term ‘self-censorship’ to describe the manner by which the photographs of horrific violence, death and destruction gathered in this book have been passed over, time and again by both himself and the publications that employ him. With this book, Bangert was determined to circumvent this filter and show it all; thereby also challenging the self-censorship behaviors of all who consider looking. He titled the collection War Porn, a deliberate provocation and appropriation that links his work to a reviled category of images rooted in both secrecy and the consequences of exposure. When depicting wartime brutality and torture, photographs such as those from Abu Ghraib Prison were first used as private trophies and instruments of humiliation and control. When such images come to light, they can also provide witness to such criminal and ethically abhorrent acts. The label has since been broadly applied, to call out exploitative depictions and salacious viewing of human suffering, and has been used to dismiss and disparage Bangert’s work.

photo-eye Gallery Photographer's Showcase: Michael Jackson's A Child's Landscape photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce a new portfolio by Michael Jackson, A Child's Landscape. Jackson’s atmospheric black & white images explore an unknown environment as a child would – through a lens of adventure, drama, and imagination.

Michael Jackson, Seal RockArchival Pigment Print, 7.5"x10" Edition of 15 $800

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce A Child’s Landscape by Michael Jackson, new to the Photographer’s Showcase. Jackson’s atmospheric black & white images explore an unknown environment as a child would – through a lens of adventure, drama, and imagination. By way of the studio, a water tank, and a great deal of ingenuity, Jackson transforms a simple rock collection into sublime and foreboding seascapes reminiscent of a forgotten past. Each archival pigment print is made on delicate rice paper, and is available in small editions.

Erin Azouz:   Tell us how you got started in photography.

Michael Jackson:  I started off in art as a painter. I studied at West Dean College in England and eventually became an apprentice to the lecturer there — Chris Baker. His studio was an old cowshed in the middle of the countryside. This feeling of remoteness in a rural location has been important to me ever since. I eventually set up my own studio in an old stately home and after a while I moved from painting with oils to charcoal. The next step was seeing some black and white film negatives. I was completely taken by them — which moved me to buy a film camera and start to process my own film. There is a direct connection between the textures and tones of charcoal and all my photographic work.

EA:   How did this body of work come about?

Michael Jackson
 Looking Out to Sea From Glass Bay 
– Archival Pigment Print, 9"x 7"
Edition of 15, $800
MJ:   I moved to Wales and spent many years concentrating on a single location on the Pembrokeshire coast — Poppit Sands. The success that I had with this work made the obsession snowball for the first few years and it became a large part of my life. But eventually I realized that I just cannot be on location all the time — especially when it is raining. This frustration lead me to look for another subject that I could work on and study when I could not get to Poppit Sands. I tried to keep my mind as open to possibilities as I could, while still being focused on aspects of an image that I love. Eventually, after a lot of dead ends, I discovered that the work at Poppit would actually feed me with suggestions to the new work, and thinking this way lead me to try out many different ideas in the studio. Being in this state of mind — where every small thing can be considered a possible move forward, makes you incredibly aware of how your imagination can connect with the simplistic of things. Eventually I was walking my dogs one day when I noticed a pile of frost damaged rocks — and I imagined cliffs and terrible coastal storms. Everything clicked and I collected as many rocks as I could and took them back to the studio.

I think that in reality a photographer doesn't have many different bodies of work — they just have one. Everything feeds off everything else and it is all connected.

On one level with A Child's Landscape I am trying to capture the excitement of the land as a child would imagine it — full of adventure, darkness, terrible storms and sometimes horror. I see the images as if they were taken by explorers discovering a new land. On another more personal level they represent a turbulence and a desire for a world that is more in my control. It is a world of my making — somehow connecting back to childhood. I think that being honest with yourself and getting to the root of the reason for creating something is important if you are to create something truthful to yourself. Each image in A Child's Landscape is both an adventure and link to a part of me that was lost in childhood. I think that link is evident in a lot of people's work — whether they know it or not.

Michael Jackson, Parkin's Peril at Noon, 2013 – Archival Pigment Print. 7"x 9" Edition of 15, $800

EA: Tell us about the process of making this work.

MJ:  The process came about after a number of discoveries whilst working on other projects. As I said earlier, I feel that all projects feed into one another.

While using film to photograph Poppit I found that holding the negatives up to the light gave me access to a beach that I had never seen before. I realized that, really, the negative is the true physical thing that is created when using film, and these negatives showed me a new world on the beach.

Michael Jackson, Iceberg Near Mann Point –
Archival Pigment Print, 8"x 8"
Edition of 15, $800
This discovery was playing on my mind when I also started to photograph items moving underwater – using an old fish tank. Then, I had a light bulb moment when I discovered the rocks while walking the dogs. As I said before, when you are looking for new things over a long period of time you find that all sorts of ideas popping up. I took the rocks home and photographed them underwater. It took a long time to fine tune the technique. I discovered that I could use my hands to burn and dodge as they were reflected in the fish tanks' glass – kind of like burning and dodging in a darkroom. I used film all the time at the start of the series and seeing the negatives made me realize how the negative of the image made things so much more interesting. And then finally I discovered that throwing in a handful of breadcrumbs just before shooting added a certain effect that I couldn't get anywhere else. I tried lots of different things in the water but breadcrumbs were the best.

I studied the coastline in Pembrokeshire and took rough pencil sketches of how the cliffs sit in the sea and how the horizon fits in with everything else. You have to get some basics right with the composition to make an exciting image.

The rocks that I use fascinate me. I love rock; especially the ability is has to have a similar structure no
Michael Jackson, Kenny CragArchival Pigment Print
8"x 8", Edition of 15, $800
matter what size it is. A 2-inch rock has basically the same structure and features as a 500ft cliff – that is why the scale on these images can suggest something much larger. They are never completely perfect, and I wouldn't want them to be. I want the viewer to see the image as something created in my imagination – the same way that a child would embellish a landscape with their thoughts of adventure and excitement. It isn't a real landscape – it is a child's landscape.

What excited me was that I knew that this process was completely mine – nobody had done it quite this way before – and I think that is the advantage of taking the hard route and not basing your work on what has gone before you. Making discovery after discovery leads you along a new road.

With these photographs there is a need to switch from disbelief to belief when you look at the image. If you make that jump, remove that sense of disbelief, then you kind of revert to a more open way of looking – more of a childlike way. And when that happens your imagination allows you to smell the sea, feel the storm wind against your face, hear the gulls in the distance. You accept what is in front of you and it all comes alive.

View Michael Jackson's A Child's Landscape portfolio
Read the article on the BBC

For more information about Michael Jackson's work or to purchase a photograph, please contact the gallery at gallery@photoeye.com or call 505-988-5152 ext. 202.

Michael Jackson, Ponderous Point at Sunset – Archival Pigment Print, 7.5"x 9", Edition of 15, $800



Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Blake Andrews Photographer and writer Blake Andrews selects Moonshine by Bertien Van Manen as photo-eye Book of the Week.

Moonshine. By Bertien Van Manen.
MACK, 2014.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer and writer Blake Andrews who has selected Moonshine by Bertien Van Manen published by MACK.

Book Review Gomorrah Girl By Valerio Spada Reviewed by Allie Haeusslein On March 27, 2004, fourteen-year-old Annalisa Durante was fatally shot in the back of her head outside her family home, caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting; the intended target, nineteen-year-old Camorra boss Salvatore Giulano, was accused of using the young girl as a shield.


Gomorrah Girl. By Valerio Spada.
Twin Palms, 2014.
 
Gomorrah Girl
Reviewed by Allie Haeusslein

Gomorrah Girl
By Valerio Spada
Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, 2014. 78 pp., 57 color illustrations, 9x13".


"Many of these girls will soon marry Camorristi... Many will bear children who will be killed... But for now they are just little girls in black. They weep for a friend... Annalisa is guilty of having been born in Naples. Nothing more, nothing less.”* —Roberto Saviano, author of Gomorrah

On March 27, 2004, fourteen-year-old Annalisa Durante was fatally shot in the back of her head outside her family home, caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting; the intended target, nineteen-year-old Camorra boss Salvatore Giulano, was accused of using the young girl as a shield. Though Italian journalist Roberto Saviano had spent some time infiltrating the Camorra — the centuries old mafia-like organization that controls Naples — it was ultimately Annalisa's tragic death that encouraged him to write his impassioned exposé, Gomorrah. Annalisa’s death is also the backbone of Valerio Spada’s Gomorrah Girl, an examination of the fraught relationship between female adolescence and the culture of violence defining present-day Naples.

Gomorrah Girl. By Valerio SpadaTwin Palms, 2014.

Gomorrah Girl combines Neapolitan landscapes and portraits by Spada with rephotographed pages from the police investigation of Annalisa’s death and exists as two intermingled books. The worn pages of the police report — printed on something akin to newsprint — are interspersed with Spada’s own smaller, glossy photographs. You cannot view one without seeing the other. As a result, the lives of these young women and the landscape they occupy can only be viewed within the somber context of Annalisa’s death, producing a disquieting overtone regarding the future of the young women depicted.

The crime scene photographs from Annalisa’s death are analytical, unsentimental and sterile — ballistics images, streets covered in evidence markers, approximations of bullet trajectories. They attempt to document and explain. And while they are necessary, there is a dark irony — no matter how much this crime is picked apart and the evidence is analyzed, it is ultimately an unsatisfactory explanation for a senseless event.

Gomorrah Girl. By Valerio SpadaTwin Palms, 2014.

Spada’s images of young women are highly charged; there is a tension at play, a sense that something is amiss. Allusions to childhood — Hello Kitty, Daisy Duck, oversized headbands and plastic jewelry – appear duplicitous in the company of his subjects. They do not feel like children; they appear sexualized and desensitized to the violence that surrounds and subsumes them. The faces of these teenagers are viscerally hardened, projecting austere personas developed for survival.

Gomorrah Girl. By Valerio SpadaTwin Palms, 2014.

A jarring picture that presents a telling metaphor for both the loss of innocence and the marginalization of women depicts a lone woman shooting up, completely ignored by the three men to her left. The photograph was taken in one of the most dangerous places in Italy known as “La Scuola” or “I Puffi” (The School or Smurfs House), a name that refers to the locale’s former life as a kindergarten. A place intended to educate and nurture youth falls victim to a culture with little room to experience childhood.

Gomorrah Girl. By Valerio SpadaTwin Palms, 2014.

Italy is often associated with the Coliseum, Pompeii, Tuscan hillsides and quaint cobbled roads. It is a struggle to conceive of the inhumane underbelly of a place we so blissfully romanticize. Hollywood portrayals of mafia-like organizations such as The Godfather or The Sopranos conceal the reality of these groups and their implications on society. Spada pulls the rose-colored glasses from our eyes, forcing us to consider how the intimidation, violence and machismo perpetuated by the Camorra reverberates through the fabric of a major city — the third largest municipality in Italy. The final photograph in Gomorrah Girl leaves us uneasy. The thirty-one year old “killer of Scampia” is positioned on a motorcycle in front of a series of apartment buildings, staring straight into the camera’s lens. His girlfriend, who did not want her portrait taken, is almost entirely obscured; all that is visible is a small sliver of her face and downcast gaze. Leaving us to wonder — what will become of these Gomorrah Girls?—ALLIE HAEUSSLEIN

*Roberto Saviano quoted by Ed Vulliamy, “In the grip of Italy’s bloodiest mafia clan,” The Guardian, 4 October 2008.

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ALLIE HAEUSSLEIN is the Associate Director at Pier 24 Photography, an exhibition space dedicated to the presentation of photography. Her writing has appeared in publications including American Suburb XArt Practical, and DailyServing.

photo-eye Gallery Nick Brandt - Behind the Photo: Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007 In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog. This week, Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007.
In early May, Nick Brandt began posting the stories behind his beautiful and evocative portraits of African animals to his Facebook page. Brandt has graciously given us permission to reproduce them on photo-eye Blog.

Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007 — Nick Brandt

Book Review The Lines By Edward Ranney Reviewed by William L. Fox Edward Ranney has several claims to fame, among them photographing the construction of the heroic Land Art installation Star Axis by Charles Ross, which stands on a mesa south of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The 11-story tall observatory is both architecture and art, a testament to our enduring need to connect Earth to Heaven, sky to ground, project anchored to our planet’s rotation around the North Star.


The Lines. By Edward Ranney.
Yale University Press, 2014.
The Lines
Reviewed by William L. Fox

The Lines
By Edward Ranney, with essay by Lucy R. Lippard
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014. 88 pp., 44 tritone illustrations, 12x9¾". 


Edward Ranney has several claims to fame, among them photographing the construction of the heroic Land Art installation Star Axis by Charles Ross, which stands on a mesa south of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The 11-story tall observatory is both architecture and art, a testament to our enduring need to connect Earth to Heaven, sky to ground, project anchored to our planet’s rotation around the North Star. It’s been under construction since 1979 and Ranney has documented its progress each year in photographs that reveal the intent of the sculpture as well as its relationship to the surrounding land. And this has everything to do with Ranney’s newest book, a selection of his images made since 1985 of geoglyphs in southern Peru and northern Chile.