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Book Review Shifting Views and Changing Places By Rick Dingus Reviewed by Blake Andrews Although Dingus shifted over the course of his career from "photo-drawing" into straight photography, several early themes remained consistent throughout. These include a fascination with place, landscape and artifact, exploration of museum/interpretive sites, the effect of photography on the photographed, and the nexus between humans and the natural world.
Shifting Views and Changing Places. Photographs by Rick Dingus
University of Oklahoma Press, 2016. 
 
Shifting Views and Changing Places
Reviewed by Blake Andrews.

Shifting Views and Changing Places.
The Photographs of Rick Dingus.
Text by Rick Dingus. Contribution by Lucy R. Lippard and Shelley Armitage. Editor by Peter S. Briggs. Foreword by Toby Jurovics.
University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, USA, 2016. In English. 224 pp., 10½x12x1".

Anyone who has shared interior walls with young children knows that the marking impulse runs deep in humans. Whatever material is handy will do. Sometimes just a piece of paper, sometimes spray paint on a train yard boxcar or ocher in a secluded cave will do the trick. In every case the basic instinct is the same: to leave some visual residue.

One could argue that all photography is a loose manifestation of this impulse. But Rick Dingus has taken it more literally than most. For a twenty-year period at the peak of his career, he drew on the surfaces of his many photographs using crayon, graphite, and silver-colored pencil. Seeking "to acknowledge photographs as constructed objects, neither neutral witnesses nor transparent windows on the world as it is," he left plenty of visual residues. They began as loose doodles on silver gelatin prints, scribbled experiments in texture. His technique progressed, and within a few years of steady practice, Dingus had carved out a recognizable style all his own. It's a blend of underlying photographs and superimposed markings, which combine to create graphic storms of photo-surrealism, a deft display of mastery and creativity. Whereas Winogrand famously said "I photograph to see what things look like photographed," Dingus's version might be "I alter photographs to see how scenes look altered."

Shifting Views and Changing Places. Photographs by Rick Dingus. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

These montages are just one aspect of a long and wide-ranging career. In addition to decades teaching photography at Texas Tech University, Dingus was a formative member of Mark Klett's Second View Rephotographic Survey, the author of a respected book on Timothy O'Sullivan, and the founder of The Millennial Collection at Texas Tech. Despite his various accomplishments, his photo drawings remain the work most closely associated with Dingus, and they form the core of his recently published retrospective, Shifting Views & Changing Places. A multi-sectioned chapter covering five projects over two decades, Photo Drawings occupies more than a third of the book.

Shifting Views and Changing Places. Photographs by Rick Dingus. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

Remarkably, Shifting Views & Changing Places is the first monograph to focus on Dingus' photographs. The task of curating 45 years of photographs into one book is not easy, and the resulting book is a broad chronological survey. In addition to photo drawings, the book touches on the later Dingus projects, such as Double Visions, Regarding Technology, Llano Estacado, Here: There, Star Party & Infrared Aerials, each with a short artist’s statement followed by a curated portfolio. Essays contributed by Toby Jurovics, Lucy R. Lippard, and Shelley Armitage supplement all of this material. There's plenty of rhetoric and analysis throughout, giving the book a scholarly tone. This is, after all, published by a university press and aimed squarely at the academic crowd. The word "landscapes" encapsulated in quotation marks drives home the point. But the photographs are accessible and interesting enough to entertain laymen as well as teachers.

Shifting Views and Changing Places. Photographs by Rick Dingus. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

Although Dingus shifted over the course of his career from "photo-drawing" into straight photography, several early themes remained consistent throughout. These include a fascination with place, landscape and artifact, exploration of museum/interpretive sites, the effect of photography on the photographed, and the nexus between humans and the natural world. In Dingus' words, "I'm interested in any situation that prompts contemplation of the curiously complex connections we share with the larger patterns of existence. Remote wilderness and rural settings, vernacular byways, urban environments, ancient pathways, ruins, historic, mythic and spiritual pilgrimage sites, scientific and technological research facilities, folks and professional museums, shrines, collections, displays, and dioramas all fascinate me."

Shifting Views and Changing Places. Photographs by Rick Dingus. University of Oklahoma Press, 2016.

Throw in the basic human urge to leave a mark and that's a lot to unpack. Dingus' early photo drawings bristle with the raw energy of someone trying to cram every such impulse into one image. In later years his straight projects untangled the creative rope and allowed space for each facet to be explored with less clutter. The book's chronological organization helps smooth out the bumps while drawing natural connections. Each project is highlighted in turn, allowing the general career thread to surface subtly. Overall, it's a great introduction to a prolific and — until now — somewhat overlooked American photographer. — Blake Andrews

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BLAKE ANDREWS is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.

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photo-eye Gallery Special Edition Print with Signed Monograph by Mitch Dobrowner photo-eye is thrilled to introduce an exclusive Special Edition of Mitch Dobrowner's acclaimed 2013 monograph STORMS for $450. Working in collaboration with Dobrowner, the STORMS Special Edition includes a signed 6.5x9.5" archival pigment print of the image Supercell and Spires as well as a signed copy of the now sold out 1st and only edition of the book.

Supercell and Spires – 6x9", Archival Pigment Print – © Mitch Dobrowner
ONLY available in the STORMS Special Edition

photo-eye is thrilled to introduce a Special Edition of Mitch Dobrowner's SOLD OUT 2013 monograph STORMS published by ApertureWorking in collaboration with Dobrowner, the STORMS Special Edition includes a signed 6½x9½" archival pigment print of the image Supercell and Spires (pictured above) – the image is EXCLUSIVE to the STORMS Special Edition and only available at photo-eye. The Special Edition also includes a signed first and only edition of Dobrowner's acclaimed STORMS monograph and is available for $450 in very limited quantities for starting today.

STORMS Special Edition with exclusive signed archival pigment print by Mitch Dobrowner

Details:

STORMS Special Edition
Photographs by Mitch Dobrowner
Aperture, New York, 2013, 96 pp., illustrated throughout, 10¼x13¾"

6½x9½" Archival Pigment Print on 8½x11" Paper
Signed by Artist on Verso
Protected by crystal clear acetate 
First and Only Edition – Now out of print

Hardbound: $450 - Quantities are very limited

Mitch Dobrowner has been chasing storms since 2009. Working with professional storm chaser Roger Hill, Dobrowner has traveled throughout Western and Midwestern America to capture nature in its full fury, making extraordinary images of monsoons, tornados, and massive thunderstorms with the highest standard of craftsmanship and in the tradition of Ansel Adams. Dobrowner's storm series has attracted considerable media interest (National Geographic, Time, New York Times Magazine, among others). The book features an introduction by novelist and poet Gretel Ehrlich that focuses on the phenomenon of storms and on the landscape tradition of the American West.
– Publisher's Description




For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com







photo-eye Gallery Behind the Photo: Mitch Dobrowner – Tempest In this Behind the Photo segment, we asked Dobrowner to share a few of his favorite storm stories and describe a few particularly memorable experiences from the field. Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017.
In the nine years that he has been photographing storms, Mitch Dobrowner has often mentioned that no two atmospheric events are ever alike and that even given similar conditions storms tend to have their own unique personalities. In this Behind the Photo segment, we asked Dobrowner to share a few of his favorite storm stories and describe a few particularly memorable experiences from the field. Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017.

Mesocyclone

Mesocyclone, Archival Pigment Print, 14x20", Collective Edition of 45, $1,500

"It was the second day I ever went out photographing storms. We started the day in Sturgis, South Dakota as the storm began to form to our south. That day we chased for about nine hours, from Sturgis, through the Badlands of South Dakota,  and into Valentine, Nebraska. As I got out of the vehicle a highly electrified 60,000-foot rotating mesocyclone appeared in front of us. The storm was about a mile wide and only a half mile away, with winds between 50 to 60 miles per hour and spinning in front of us. A big rig had pulled off on the road as it couldn't go any farther, and when he hit his air brakes I remember being pelted by the flying debris.

We stood in front of this storm for about 45 minutes while it stayed in the air and rotated in a field outside of Valentine. There were multiple lightning strikes every five or so seconds. The experience was so surreal and I was so awestruck that I turned to my friend Roger Hill and said "What the @!#uck are we looking at? You have to be kidding me!!" I could not believe what I was looking at. I felt like I was on another planet. We chased that storm into the night, and it was during this storm that I decided photographing storm systems would turn into a long-term project for me."  – Mitch Dobrowner

Mesocyclone
Archival Pigment Print
14x20", Collective Edition of 45
$1,500

» Inquire


Bear's Claw

Bear's Claw, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30", Collective Edition of 45, $4,500

"In regard to getting too close – this is the one storm that comes to mind.

We started tracking in South Dakota. We had chased the storm for three or four hours waiting for something to happen. Eventually, we ended up in Moorcroft, Wyoming where we stopped in a field just outside of town. We sat there for about ten minutes when right in front of our eyes the storm crossed over the hills and turned straight towards us. At that time we realized it was an extremely violent hail storm traveling at about 50 to 60 mph straight at us, dropping golf ball sized hail stones. We had to run quickly and I had just enough time to get off about 7 shots before I picked up my tripod and ran towards the van.

If you look at the image you can see the ground is a little blurred. This is because of the 50+ mph winds we were standing in. The situation had quickly changed from us chasing the storm to the storm chasing us. We eventually got out of its way but sadly the storm did major damage to the small town of Moorcroft." – Mitch Dobrowner

Bear's Claw
Archival Pigment Print
20x30" Collective Edition of 45
$4,500

» Inquire


Jupiter


Jupiter, Archival Pigment Print, 20x30" Collective Edition of 45, $3,500

"We got out of the van at about eight o'clock at night. It was dark but as I looked out into the field there was something out there. I could hear the rumble and random flashes of light in the distance. It was an approaching storm. Almost like a monster in the closet, where you could only see it when there was a lightning strike when it wanted you to see it. The wind began to increase and you could hear the approaching rain as it was moving across the cornfield heading towards us... I composed the shot where I thought there was potential for lightning strikes. It just happened to be at the right place at the right time when I clicked the shutter. Looking at the image on the LCD of my camera was the first (and last) time the storm revealed itself to me." – Mitch Dobrowner

Jupiter
Archival Pigment Print
20x30" Collective Edition of 45
$3,500

» Inquire

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Next week, in honor of the Tempest exhibition, Gallery Director Anne Kelly will be publishing an all-new interview with Mitch Dobrowner covering the artist's intention, inspiration, and process while creating his storm images.

Prices listed are correct at the time of posting; please contact Gallery Staff for up-to-date price and availability.

Mitch Dobrowner's exhibition Tempest is currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through November 11th, 2017. For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects A Glass Darkly by Kevin Lear as Book of the Week.
A Glass DarklyBy Kevin Lear Mack, 2017.
Christian Michael Filardo selects A Glass Darkly by Kevin Lear from Mack as Book of the Week.

"Flash, bright and relentless, brings that which is shrouded in darkness into light for a short moment. Revealing what is normally hidden to the naked eye and making it accessible to view. I too have walked the streets alone at night with a camera ‘round my neck, flash attached ready to illuminate any willing subject in the void. In some cities, the quiet engulfs you, the delicate soft air of late evening surrounds. It’s an isolating feeling, being conscious and awake while the rest of the world dreams. For about 20 years Kevin Lear roamed the streets of Kent and London at night, in the quiet, alone. In their first monograph, A Glass Darkly, Lear reveals the subtle, isolated, monolithic brilliance, of his 20-year residency pounding the pavement.

The phrase ‘a glass darkly’ comes from the writings of the Apostle Paul. Essentially, we view life through a dark glass because our individual perspectives cloud our vision. Only at the end of life, when we meet God face to face, will we be able to see clearly. Oddly, this metaphor is fitting in regards to the nature of photography. The constant struggle between understanding what is real and what is not. Playing God within the context of documenting the everyday. Realizing that our eyes see much less of the world than we comprehend at any given time.

Lear is looking. Lear is looking very hard — or perhaps locating the slightly askew and mild disturbances in the mundane comes naturally to him. If you are looking to be shocked, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking to really see something, then it’s your lucky day. At first, I was drawn to A Glass Darkly by the stark cover image of a round concrete orb illuminated by an aggressive flash. While, I wasn’t immediately struck by all of the images in the book, after a few times flipping through, I began to hear Lear’s whisper in the quiet of his images. Not only is Lear documenting his surroundings, he is revealing what might lie beyond his images — a world where people exist, a world where people once were and no longer are. Lear preserves the past in the present only for the present to become the past, like a peaceful apocalypse.

Lear shows us where we are allowed to go and where we are not allowed to go. Fences, walls, signs, all obstruct a point of entry. He mixes these images of vines and barriers, stark interiors of bars, and bizarre locations that are unrecognizable. The level of intimacy with the outside, urban, brutal infrastructure of the city is both ridiculous and incredible at the same time. In his own way, Lear is attempting to see just how clear he can get the glass, working it over to reveal a slice of reality in the dark.

Ultimately, we have a lot to unpack in A Glass Darkly — years of work, meditation, and concrete. Extremely English, extremely quiet, Lear’s first monograph is a triumph that proves good things come in time. Easily, one of the best books I’ve seen all year, you have to experience it yourself." — Christian Michael Filardo

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A Glass DarklyBy Kevin Lear Mack, 2017.

A Glass DarklyBy Kevin Lear Mack, 2017.


Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino-American composer and photographer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He recently had a solo exhibition called Tumbleweed Replica at Current Space in Baltimore, MD and is the current shipping manager at photo-eye bookstore.

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photo-eye Gallery Special Edition Print with Signed Monograph by Brad Wilson photo-eye is thrilled to introduce an exclusive Special Edition of Brad Wilson's monograph Wild Life for $250. Working in collaboration with Wilson, we the Wild Life Special Edition includes a open edition signed 6.5x9.5" archival pigment print of the image Eurasian Eagle Owl #2, St. Louis, MO, 2012.

Eurasian Eagle Owl #2, St. Louis, MO, 2012, 6½x9½", Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
ONLY Available in the Wild Life Special Edition

photo-eye is thrilled to introduce a new Special Edition of Brad Wilson's monograph Wild LifeWorking in collaboration with Wilson, the Wild Life Special Edition includes a signed 6½x9½" archival pigment print of the image Eurasian Eagle Owl #2, St. Louis, MO, 2012. The image is EXCLUSIVE to the Wild Life Special Edition and only available at photo-eye. The monograph with signed print is available in an open edition starting today for $250.

Wild Life Special Edition – Hardbound Monograph with Signed Print

Details:

Wild Life, Special Edition
Photographs by Brad Wilson
Prestel, Lakewood, 2014, 184 pp., illustrated throughout, 10x11¾"

6½x9½" Archival Pigment Print on 8.5x11" Paper
Signed by Artist on Verso
Protected by crystal clear acetate 
Open Edition

Hardbound: $250

Brad Wilson on location.
By bringing wild animals into his studio, Brad Wilson offers a unique and beautiful perspective on our non-human neighbors that sets a new standard in animal photography.
– Publisher's Description




For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com







Book Review Camera in Love By Ed van der Elsken Reviewed by Arista Slater-Sandoval Constructed like Russian nesting dolls, Camera in Love contains books within a book, broken down in a chapter-like formats. The authors examine and discuss the previously published books, and include nostalgic anecdotes. Contact sheets and images of original layouts punctuate the chosen images to represent the highlighted book.
Camera in Love  
Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Prestel, 2017. 
 
Camera in Love
Reviewed by Arista Slater-Sandoval.

Camera in Love.
Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Text by David Campany and Hripsimé Visser.
Prestel, Lakewood, USA, 2017. 240 pp., 50 color and 150 black-and-white illustrations, 9½x11½".

Street photography functions as a time capsule. The camera documents, capturing a moment in time, before it passes us by. The photographer picks the final image and places it in line among others sharing common characteristics; together, the selection of images creates a unique cross-section of place curated by the photographer at work. Nozems (Dutch Teddy Boys), or youth culture of the 1950s from the Netherlands, revolution and unrest in Amsterdam during the 1960s, and Africa from the mid-1950s, all possess a distinctive place on the world timeline, with varying aesthetics specific to their time. The photographer chooses what is worth documenting and when. One second before or after that single image does not exist save for in the memory of those present.

Camera in Love  Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Prestel, 2017.

With photography as a vehicle, Ed van der Elsken narrates stories of time and place, creating glimpses into the past. Camera in Love, published by Prestel is a companion book to the exhibition titled the same and presented by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Jeu de Paume in Paris. The exhibition is the most comprehensive retrospective of Elsken’s work in twenty-five years. A long and detailed chronological timeline of the artist’s life and career hints at the importance of van der Elsken in the history of photographers and photojournalists. Supporting essays by Hripsimé Visser, Nan Goldin, David Campany, Valérie Jouve, Susan Aasman, Pauline Oltheten, and Colin van Heezik, support the importance of Ed van der Elsken as a previously underrepresented photographer. Constructed like Russian nesting dolls, Camera in Love contains books within a book, broken down in a chapter-like formats. The authors examine and discuss the previously published books, and include nostalgic anecdotes. Contact sheets and images of original layouts punctuate the chosen images to represent the highlighted book.

Camera in Love  Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Prestel, 2017.

Van der Elsken was compelled by the human condition and the document as a witness to events that created both international and personal histories. The thoroughness of his approach went beyond human-interest subjects to narrate generation and lifestyle stories. Each of van der Elken’s photography books is its own tale, unfolding a focused directive toward place and people. In Love on the Left Bank, one of van der Elsken’s more celebrated books, the viewer beholds a revolutionary, bohemian era of nightclubs and cafés. Blending the autobiographical with fictionalized narratives of love and dramatized scenes, young van der Elsken broke the norms of post-WWII humanitarian documentary photography. In this early book, he proved himself to be an alternative for established norms in photography books; but he also presented a model for what it means to be a photojournalist. From depicting an unshackled and indulgent Parisian lifestyle to his travels in Africa or around the world, van der Elsken captured Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment.”

Camera in Love  Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Prestel, 2017.

Dynamic in its treatment of subject matter and the art of the print, Jazz, first published in 1959, is a striking book that merits further study. The 1950s were the jazz heyday in the Netherlands, with wild night concerts taking place all over Amsterdam. For the book, van der Elsken chose concerts attended between 1955 and 1959, and designed the layout himself. Mirroring the spontaneity of jazz and the overwhelming experience of the concert, the layout is fluid, with full-page spreads blending together. The minimal lighting, combined with the sharp focus on the performers and their instruments, created blurred energy, which contributes to the increasing visual volume of the pages. Sometimes abstracted faces peer out from the shadows with sweat and extreme emotions while others are beautifully lit with brass instruments aglow. The visible grain of the images creates a sense of melancholy — as film’s texture affects our perception of faded, bygone days.

Camera in Love  Photographs by Ed van der Elsken. Prestel, 2017.

Camera in Love is a beautiful tribute to van der Elsken’s work. Although van der Elsken worked on assignment, he also worked for himself, blurring the lines of street photography, journalism, and autobiographical work to his own experimental ends. As a filmmaker and book designer, Ed van der Elsken used an avant-garde approach to stretch the definition of photojournalism beyond expectations. Dense with imagery, Camera in Love provides plenty of opportunities to study van der Elsken’s narrative street photography, and his skillful artistry in traditional black-and-white printing. — Arista Slater-Sandoval

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ARISTA SLATER-SANDOVAL  was born and raised in Grand Rapids Michigan. She moved in 2007 to washington D.C. to pursue a BFA in photography at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. After completing her BFA, Arista moved to Cambridge MA, and attended the College of Art and Design at Lesley University where she completed her MFA in Fine Art Photography in 2013. While in grad school she focused in gum bichromate, and large scale image transfers. Currently Arista lives and works in New Mexico with her husband while traveling and working on her various mediums of choice.

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photo-eye Gallery New Work by Brad Wilson photo-eye Gallery is proud to debut 25 new works by represented artist Brad Wilson in his Affinity series.  Since 2010, Wilson has worked with sanctuaries, individual trainers, and zoos to build a stunning portfolio of dynamic and striking animal portraits.

Palm Cockatoo #3, Los Angeles, CA, 2016, 22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
photo-eye Gallery is proud to debut 25 new works by represented artist Brad Wilson in his Affinity series.  Since 2010, Wilson has worked with sanctuaries, individual trainers, and zoos to build a stunning portfolio of dynamic and striking animal portraits. Set against a rich black background, Wilson's camera details the curl of every whisker, the pleat of every scale, and the fold of every feather on each of his subjects – the effect is captivating and gives us a unique magnified perspective of each animal.

In past releases, Wilson has focused primarily on the face of each animal occasionally creating a sense of confrontation between the subject and the viewer, but in his new work, Wilson diverges to examine other parts of his sitters. Set against his signature deep black background the elegant curve of a crouching cheetah or the vibrant line of a Scarlett McCaw's tail feathers become almost abstract.

Cheetah #5, Los Angeles, CA, 2016, 22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson

When working on Affinity, Wilson finds the words of naturalist author Henry Benson accurately express his feelings on the project:

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and whole, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
– Henry Beston 1928

Archival Pigment Prints are available in three limited editions:

20x29" Edition of 15, $1,500

30x44" Edition of 10, $2,750

40x60" Edition of 3, $5,250





Zebra #4, Los Angeles, CA, 2016 22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
Scarlett Mccaw #3, Albuquerque, NM, 2016  22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
Tiger #7, Los Angeles, CA, 2016  22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
Chimpanzee #17, Los Angeles, CA, 2016  22x29" Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson
Jaguar #2, Los Angeles, CA, 2016  22x29"  Archival Pigment Print – © Brad Wilson


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Laura M. André Laura M. André selects Carol Mavor's Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale as Book of the Week.

Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale
By Carol Mavor. Reaktion Books, 2017.

Laura M. André selects Carol Mavor's Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale, from Reaktion Books, as Book of the Week.


With her latest book, Aurelia, Carol Mavor spins a meta fairy tale that transports us through a fevered, dreamlike constellation of words and images. Along the way, she demonstrates how fairy tales—which may or may not involve actual fairies—have deeply affected (mostly Western) art and literature. In turn, Mavor offers us a looking glass that reveals how our own, real stories invoke fairy-tale desires.

Beginning with Bill Henson's cover photograph, Mavor's dizzying, kaleidoscopic array of images vacillates between Francesca Woodman, medieval manuscript illuminations, Julia Margaret Cameron, vernacular snapshots, 19th-century glass flowers, documentary film, Kiki Smith, Langston Hughes, Lewis Carroll's girls, Bernard Faucon's boys, Ralph Eugene Meatyard's Lucybelle Craters, the Lascaux cave paintings, and much, much more.


Indeed, Aurelia defies categorization: it's an artist's book as much as it is a scholarly one; it's both analytic and novelesque. For example, Mavor tantalizingly links early wet-plate photography experiments to oral consumption "because, during this period, photographers held their stolen images, not with traditional photographic chemicals, but in sugar, caramel, treacle, malt, raspberry syrup, ginger wine, sherry, beer, and skimmed milk." But, as Mavor argues, within the presumed sweetness of fairy tales, which are supposed to end happily ever after, lurks a great deal of sadism, violence, and death.



Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale
By Carol MavorReaktion Books, 2017.

Mavor continues, "The glass of early glass-plate negatives...doubles up the photograph's inherent immobilization. The subject is frozen in Snow-Queen-ice-like-glass, just as she was at the time of life taken by the camera, the body forever iced in the dress of 'that day and age.'" Mavor thus connects Snow White's glass casket trimmed with gold to the casket-like cases that tenderly hold and protect the magical, fragile, daguerreotyped post-mortem portraits of children.


Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale
By Carol MavorReaktion Books, 2017.

Mavor returns to the image of the glass casket near the book's conclusion, when she recounts how Emmett Till's mother insisted that his mutilated face and body remain visible during his wake and funeral (which thousands of mourners attended), and that Jet magazine publish those open-casket photographs so even more people could see what had happened to her son. This chapter focuses on Ralph Eugene Meatyard's dark, Southern Gothic photographs—visual fairy tales that draw inspiration equally from the literature of Flannery O'Connor and contemporary events, such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. It ends with a poignant tribute to the 1955 photograph of Emmett Till in his casket—a broken child, which Meatyard's broken black doll echoes—, and which Mavor cannot bring herself to reproduce, instead presenting a blank page captioned, "Emmett Till should be here."



Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale
By Carol MavorReaktion Books, 2017.
Photography, in the form of photographs, artists, and the magical processes of the medium itself, is everywhere in this book, even when it's not explicitly addressed. For example, I can't help but think of photography's magical, transformative processes when Mavor writes, "In a fairy tale one thing can be in the middle of becoming so many things: like the frog becoming a prince, a piece of wood becoming Pinocchio...an ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan.... The fairy tale is a mise en scène of living and inanimate things, all of which hold marvelous middleness: the potential to transform."

Aurelia is Mavor's sixth book and the latest to showcase her famous ability to write with a compelling mix of intellectual rigor, playful curiosity, and her own passionate sensibilities. The writing is lush and gorgeous, and so is the book itself. Printed on heavy coated paper, each page is like a precious specimen, and throughout the text, key passages appear in rich, gold-colored ink, like sparkling jewels or glittering fairy dust.

As Mavor unspools the wildly tangled threads that weave through these tales, it becomes clear that they have much to teach us—if we're willing to go down into the rabbit hole.

 — Laura M. André

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Laura M. André received her PhD in art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and taught photo history at the University of New Mexico before leaving academia to work with photography books. She is the manager of the photo-eye Bookstore.



Book Review Candy/A Good and Spacious Land By Jim Goldberg and Donovan Wylie Reviewed by Blake Andrews Wylie's New Haven is an industrial nexus, its residents dwarfed by surrounding infrastructure. Goldberg's version of New Haven — his birthplace and childhood home — is a warren of interwoven lives and a metaphor for the human condition.
Candy/A Good and Spacious Land 
Photographs by Jim Goldberg and Donovan Wylie
Yale University Art Gallery, 2017. 
 
Candy/A Good and Spacious Land
Reviewed by Blake Andrews.

Candy/A Good and Spacious Land.
Photographs by Jim Goldberg and Donovan Wylie. Text by Christopher Klatell and Laura Wexler and Pamela Franks.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA, 2017. 300 pp., 150 color and 50 black-and-white illustrations, 13x11".

Yale's new photobook duet Candy/A Good And Spacious Land reminds me of the old Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant. You've probably heard the tale. Six blind men attempt to determine what an elephant looks like by touching it. Each one touches the elephant in a different area, and each one comes away with a radically different impression based on his limited encounter. The man who feels the tusk thinks of an elephant as a smooth, sharp spear. The one touching the trunk assumes it's more like a snake. And so on. In the end, there is no general agreement.

Assign two photographers to shoot one American city and you might wind up in a similar predicament. You could hardly generate more disparate results than those produced by Donovan Wylie and Jim Goldberg, two veteran Magnum photographers who each documented New Haven, Connecticut during joint residencies at the Yale University Art Gallery in 2013. Wylie's New Haven is an industrial nexus, its residents dwarfed by surrounding infrastructure. Goldberg's version of New Haven — his birthplace and childhood home — is a warren of interwoven lives and a metaphor for the human condition.

A Good and Spacious Land Photographs by Donovan Wylie. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

That the two men could explore the same city and come away with such different impressions is a tribute not only to their strength as photographers, but to one of photography's paradoxical tenets: Less is more. Photographers often work effectively by pruning away visual information, choosing carefully what to reveal and what to hide. Wylie and Goldberg leverage this tenet to focus each on his own slice of New Haven. Although neither attempts to tell the city's whole story, together their two books describe a sizable chunk of it. If the entire elephant is beyond their scope, that's just fine. The restricted perspectives are still quite enlightening.

A Good and Spacious Land Photographs by Donovan Wylie. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

The Irish photographer Wylie's A Good And Spacious Land — the title taken from the biblical myth of the promised land — is the smaller volume and the more conventional. While exploring the area initially, he became enamored with the reconstruction of the I-95 / I-91 interchange, a massive highway project then underway in New Haven. Shot from ground level, Wylie's photographs are dominated by sweeping forms of concrete and steel. The urban landscape appears stressed, fraught, and transitional, an uninviting backdrop for residents. When people appear in Wylie's New Haven they're an industrial afterthought, an impression Wylie enhances by shooting them often at a distance, with backs turned or bodies slouching. New Haven's residents take a back seat here to Wylie's primary concern, the highway interchange. This he has engaged with precision, carefully plotting its spatial layering and formal interplay. The reader's eye bounces here and there around the frames, always entertained and occasionally astonished.

A Good and Spacious Land Photographs by Donovan Wylie. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

Goldberg's Candy takes a nearly inverse approach. Whereas Wylie's volume is cleanly sequenced, one photo per page, Candy is a sprawling jumble of collage, cutouts, Polaroids, handwriting, scrapbook, personal diary, and strong portraiture. Formal interplay be damned, these photos are a gut punch, and a messy one at that. If Wylie's vision is somewhat impersonal, Goldberg's is deeply intimate, rooted in his New Haven childhood. Candy is the name of a bygone store from his youth lost to "model city" urban redevelopment. A handwritten sequence early in the book encapsulates the generation gap of his early years: "My dad's dream was to go to become a singer, go to Yale, and become a successful businessman… Mine was to get out of New Haven as soon as I could."

Candy Photographs by Jim Goldberg. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

Get out he did, moving west to pursue his photo career. But not everyone escaped New Haven so easily. Goldberg returns to befriend two residents who never left, Germano Kimbro and Joe Taylor. He sketches out their life stories through their own photos and journals, supported by Goldberg's own sharp editing and photography. Kimbro and Taylor each faced adversity but were ultimately resilient. To their stories, Goldberg piles on reams of other material — Goldberg's childhood photos, New Haven portraits, homemade streetview photos, movie stills, etc. He puts the whole mix through an anything-goes editing blender — think Boris Mikhailov's Diary or Peter Beard's The End Of The Game. The resulting book is a densely layered tome which defies easy understanding, the sort of book that can be read straight through as narrative, or opened to any page for expressionist burst.

Candy Photographs by Jim Goldberg. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

Candy and A Good And Spacious Land may come packaged together but they are a million miles apart, two very different parts of the New Haven elephant. They're joined for a fleeting moment when Goldberg describes the candy store being torn down for I-91, and along the broad theme of rehabilitation. But essentially it's a union of opposites, an antipodal dynamic which is quite entertaining.

Candy Photographs by Jim Goldberg. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

Stacked together the books weigh 9 pounds and span 372 pages. The set is packaged handsomely in a sturdy blue slipcase with a thin explanatory placard. With this production, Yale has pulled out all the stops. Candy/A Good And Spacious Land exemplifies top-notch image reproductions and beautiful binding, with an eye toward collectibility. It's priced accordingly, but still a good value considering the contents.— Blake Andrews

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BLAKE ANDREWS is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.

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photo-eye Gallery Gallery Favorites: Three selections from Mitch Dobrowner's Tempest In this Gallery Favorites segment Anne, Savannah, and Lucas select works from our new Mitch Dobrowner exhibition Tempest.

When enjoying an exhibition, gallery clients often ask me which image is best to collect? When surrounded by work you love, sometimes deciding which image to take home and live with can feel overwhelming. One answer is to start with the work you most respond to and build a portfolio of that particular series by that artist, but most collectors we work with prefer some diversity in their collection. My best advice still circles back to our blog post on collecting photography – buy what you love

Some might come to find that they have a personal connection with the image – say a dirt road that takes them back to childhood, others might be operating purely on intuition and others on a certain aesthetics in mind. Part of the benefit of working at photo-eye Gallery is being surrounded by captivating images on a daily basis. This gives us the chance to live with the work – which is helpful in developing our own personal collecting strategy – and helping others find theirs.

In honor of our current exhibition, Tempest, this month we have turned our focus to Mitch Dobrowner and are recommending our favorite of his unique stormy landscapes.

 – Anne Kelly, Gallery Director

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Welcome to Camp America by Debi Cornwall as Book of the Week.
Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay
By Debi CornwallRadius Books, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay by Debi Cornwall from Radius Books as Book of the Week.

"I first encountered Debi Cornwall’s Welcome to Camp America one year ago when I saw it as a book dummy at Review Santa Fe. I’ve been captivated by the work ever since. Revolving around the US detention center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, commonly referred to as Gitmo, this book uses photographs, redacted documents, and personal accounts to paint a picture of the detention center and the effects on its detainees. A combination of three photographic sequences, Cornwall uses photography to give us an enigmatic glimpse into the secretive world of this controversial military base. The images are interspersed with text, translated in both English and Arabic, which provides historical evidence of acts of dubious legality that have occurred at the facility since 2002.

The first body of work, Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play, shows the living spaces of both guards and detainees at Gitmo. This section paints a picture of the naval base that few have encountered before. While the detainee facilities are sterile and restricting, the guard’s quarters are quite shocking in comparison. Bowling alleys, playgrounds, lounge chairs and driving ranges hint at why Gitmo has been called the “best posting a soldier can have.” It’s odd to associate tranquil scenes that almost seem domestic with Gitmo and the events that have been brought to international attention.

The second section, Gitmo on Sale, displays items from Gitmo Souvenir shops. From Fidel Castro bobbleheads to Gitmo purse clasps and beer cozies, this surreal sequence documents the bizarre commodification of the military base. There is a kitsch and cheery sense to these objects, again creating a striking juxtaposition with the text.

The final section of images, Beyond Gitmo, is presented in the form of 14 photographic inserts. These inserts depict 14 men who had been detained at Gitmo and released without charges. Like the photographs of the US guards, the photographs of former detainees are shot with their backs facing the camera, as to not show their faces. This series is the most impactful as it comes with the realization that the overwhelming majority of detainees held there have never been convicted or charged with a crime in the US.

Ultimately this book needs to be experienced personally to grasp its full impact. The amount of research that went into this book is too expansive to even begin to mention in this brief review. This book is haunting, revealing, personal, and shocking. The relatively innocent photographs are paired with text and evidence so alarming that it hardly seems real. Recently shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards, this book has already begun to gain the recognition it deserves, and I hope it continues on that path of success. I know that my brief words will not do this book justice so I will end on this note: Welcome to Camp America may be the most important photobook I have read in 2017." — Forrest Soper

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Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo BayBy Debi CornwallRadius Books, 2017.

Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo BayBy Debi CornwallRadius Books, 2017.



Forrest Soper is a photographer and artist based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, he also has previously worked at Bostick & Sullivan. Forrest is the Editor of photo-eye Blog.
http://forrestsoper.com/