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

Social Media


photo-eye Gallery Handmade Artist Books by David Gibson photo-eye Gallery's current exhibition Rendezvous with Light prominently features work by Dallas-based landscape photographer David H. Gibson – including a number of his exquisite handmade artist books.
David H. Gibson – Sunrise Sequence August 27, 8:37 AM Eagle Nest Lake, NM, 2016 
photo-eye Gallery's current exhibition Rendezvous with Light prominently features work by Dallas-based landscape photographer David H. Gibson – including a number of his exquisite handmade artist books. Gibson's artistic practice often revolves around how light and atmosphere render an environment over time employing the camera to permanently record these ephemeral effects in sequence. David's process truly shines in book form where a full scene can be viewed in order at an intimate distance, lending a sense of enchantment to something as common as a sunrise.

Gibson is a consummate craftsman. Each book is painstakingly constructed by hand from the gorgeous archival materials such as 100% cotton rag paper, Mohair bookbinding fabric, and each plate is printed to gallery standards. The artist books are available in Limited Editions.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects The Model, by Tørbjorn Rødland, as Book of the Week.
The Model
By Tørbjorn Rødland Mack, 2017.

Christian Michael Filardo selects The Model, by Tørbjorn Rødland, from Mack, as Book of the Week.

While watching a video interview about Tørbjorn Rødland’s new show, The Touch That Made You, at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, I was able to understand the way in which he works a little bit better. He discusses an inner catalogue of photographic memories, tropes in photography, and the viewer-photograph relationship. After hearing Rødland speak for a minute it becomes clear that his photography will push all the boundaries and buttons. He does just that in his new monograph The Model out now from Mack.

Essentially, The Model is a book in which Rødland photographs Polish model Małgosia Bela over and over again. She appears in ads in the city, on the covers of magazines, on a DVD case, behind bars, painting in a park, in front of a ship with the word Trollfjord painted neatly on it. At first glance this book is easily forgettable; however with more time one begins to recognize the cheeky nature in which Rødland is making art world commentary.

Many photographers follow an individual and photograph them. So much so that it has become a trope within the medium. We know Tiny by Mary Ellen Mark, Tom by Paul Kranzler, Man Next Door by Rob Hornstra, Conor Donlon by Wolfgang Tillmans, the list goes on and on. However, what sets Rødland’s book apart from all of these books is his attitude and attention towards the trope itself. Often people follow individuals or communities due to some sort of extreme existence they live or because they have a specific level of intimacy with an individual. While Rødland might be close with Małgosia, she is still, in fact, a supermodel. She’s playful, beautiful, seemingly fun, and omnipresent. Rødland finds her everywhere, so much so that you begin to question why one would photograph Malgosia at all. Her face is on billboards, in shop windows, random magazine pages; she is a vessel for capitalism, lust, and the idea of beauty itself. A few times Rødland even gets meta with his own work, actually photographing his last monograph, Confabulations, while it rests under a DVD, as well as photographing a gallery visitor looking at one of his images of Małgosia.

Ultimately, while this book isn’t a masterwork, it’s still a Rødland title, conceptual, colorful, and visually stimulating. A nice release from Mack worth checking out a fan of the genre of portraiture and beyond. A dissection of an institution that I find wonderfully successful. — Christian Michael Filardo

Purchase Book

The Model, By Tørbjorn Rødland. Mack, 2017

The Model, By Tørbjorn RødlandMack, 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.

photo-eye Gallery A Holiday Collection from photo-eye Gallery To celebrate the holidays, photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly and Associates Lucas Shaffer and Savannah Sakry have hand-selected a collection of works for the season.

To celebrate the holidays, photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly and Associates Lucas Shaffer and Savannah Sakry have hand-selected a collection of works for the season. Comprised of prints by both represented and showcase artists, the 2017 Holiday Collection serves to express the beauty, warmth, and magic that epitomizes this time of year. We here at photo-eye Gallery would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for all of your enthusiasm and support throughout the year, it is truly fulfilling.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects The Martin Parr Coloring Book! by Martin Parr as Book of the Week.
The Martin Parr Coloring Book!
By Martin Parr Aperture, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects The Martin Parr Coloring Book!  by Martin Parr from Aperture as Book of the Week.

“Coloring looks very simple, but, boy, to do it well, it’s very difficult — like photography, it looks so simple but it’s very tough.” — Martin Parr

"I’ve always thought that the coloring book is an under-rated form of expression. All art, regardless of medium, is communicative and cannot exist in a vacuum. As a result, I view all works of art as a conversation between the creator and the viewer. Generally speaking, the more impactful or insightful the conversation is, the more powerful the work of art. Some conversations only speak to a specific audience or demographic, but coloring books have a beautiful unimposing simplicity that allows them to communicate with the young and the old alike.

Enter The Martin Parr Coloring Book!, the latest publication from the prolific photographer. At this point, Parr needs no introduction, as he has quickly become one of the most popular contemporary photographers of this generation. His often-humorous documentations of bizarre slices of culture have amused and fascinated individuals for decades. Now, thanks to the work of artist and book lover, Jane Mount, almost 50 of Parr’s classic images can be engaged with, in coloring book form!

When many people think of a coloring book, they think of something juvenile. Coloring books, to many, are a relatively inexpensive tool used to occupy the youth. However, in recent years, designers have worked diligently to make coloring books that can be enjoyed by adults. Until recently, my favorite ‘adult coloring book’ was Chuck Palahniuk’s Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color, an illustrated collection of Palahniuk’s macabre and bizarre short stories. Now, Parr’s publication is unquestionably my new favorite go-to coloring book.

This publication is so well designed, that you can color on every single page. Children will be amused with coloring in bizarre scenes such as a dog with sunglasses, or piles of spam surrounded by beautiful flowers. Adults will gain a deeper understanding of Parr’s composition and humor, as they are forced to spend longer with each image as they take the time to color in every shape.

This is a beautifully designed coloring book. The illustrations range from very simple outlines, so drawings with incredible amounts of detail. Coloring enthusiasts of all levels will be able to find pages that match their skill set. If that was not enough, the book ends with four pages of Martin Parr stickers (one for each of the images found in the book.)

At the end of the day, The Martin Parr Coloring Book! is a book that has the potential to speak to a wide audience. This publication contains every charming aspect of a Parr photobook, but it has the added benefit of being engaging and fun. At the very least, this publication should not be overlooked when looking at the catalog of Parr monographs and is essential for any Martin Parr fan." — Forrest Soper

Purchase Book

The Martin Parr Coloring Book! By Martin Parr Aperture, 2017

The Martin Parr Coloring Book! By Martin Parr Aperture, 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/


Book Review Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays By Robert Adams Reviewed by Karen Jenkins “Robert Adams’ timely new book, Art Can Help is an invigorating response to a waxing cultural despair over the state of the world and our dubious agency in it. Offered not as a mere balm, this collection of just over two dozen short essays is a quietly powerful argument for what art can and should mean in our lives."
Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays 
By Robert Adams. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.
 
Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays.
Text by Robert Adams.
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, United States, 2017. In English. 92 pp., 34 color illustrations, 5½x8¼x½".

Robert Adams’ timely new book, Art Can Help is an invigorating response to a waxing cultural despair over the state of the world and our dubious agency in it. Offered not as a mere balm, this collection of just over two dozen short essays is a quietly powerful argument for what art can and should mean in our lives. Two opening passages unpack the formative influence of Edward Hopper on Adams’ way of looking at and making art. The texts that follow delve into favorite and affecting photographs around which Adams champions a deeply personal experience with art, one which demands accountability and an intrinsic connection between art and life. The Introduction and Afterword bookend Adams’ lyrical unraveling of art that ‘helps’ with a bald critique of the failings of that art practice that he sees as facile or empty. He writes: “This atrophying away of the genuine article is a misfortune because, in an age of nuclear weapons and overpopulation and global warming, we need more than ever what art used to provide. Somehow we have to recommit to picture making that is serious.”

Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays. By Robert Adams. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.
Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays. By Robert Adams. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

A weighty directive to be sure, but these essays not only deliver; they elucidate and delight. I happily read all 88 pages in one sitting, my shared love of photography and belief in art’s centrality to life burnished anew. With graceful brevity, Adams offers narratives that are at once sharply focused on the contents within each frame and that send the reader off on trails of expansive analogy to literature, poetry and music. Many reflect his abiding commitment to the landscape and how art can challenge our incursions and insults, as well as sustain our experience of beauty and the sublime. The “wonderful gloom” of Wayne Gudmundson’s photograph of abandoned grain elevators is balanced for Adams by a flight of birds and a tree’s wing-like boughs, together “a melodic answer to the bass line of the deserted buildings with their static darkness.” In discussing Eric Paddock’s photograph of a distant railroad crossing in a vast Colorado plain, Adams speaks to emptiness and solitude, conjuring both the views once commemorated in “quietly local postcards” as well as poet William Stafford’s take on such landscapes conjuring “space, and the hurt of space after the others are gone.”

Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays. By Robert Adams. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.
Art Can Help: New and Selected Essays. By Robert Adams. Yale University Art Gallery, 2017.

Most stirring for me were those passages that foreground art’s capacity to re-engage us in life, as active and accountable participants, as well as those that lauded a life devoted to its creation. He sees the empathy and culpability in Garry Winogrand’s photograph, shot through a windshield, of a calf stumbling between two opposing cars on a western road, arguing that his “photograph keeps us alive, overruling all assurances from behaviorists that we are never guilty.” In ten short paragraphs illustrated by two photographs from Judith Joy Ross’s Portraits of the Hazleton Public Schools, Adams folds us into his unforgettable relationship with these works, from the notion of a shared experience of pain to a hope for the future, crafted on both aesthetic rigor and visual and narrative delights. When he writes, “This is the sort of thing that is worth a life,” we are powerless to disagree. It is one of Adams’ many gifts that a lifetime of serious attention to looking at art and making photographs has yielded these captivating, important takes on what 35 odd pictures mean to him. Whether we share his wonder with these views, or have our own sacred fold, he wins the day not with heavy-handed insistence, but with an understated authority encompassing intelligence, wonderment and a devotion to looking carefully and owning what he sees. — Karen Jenkins

Purchase Book

KAREN JENKINS earned a Master's degree in Art History, specializing in the History of Photography from the University of Arizona. She has held curatorial positions at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ and the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA. Most recently she helped to debut a new arts project, Art in the Open Philadelphia, that challenges contemporary artists to reimagine the tradition of creating works of art en plein air for the 21st century.


Read More Book Reviews

photo-eye Gallery NEW Portfolio: Rendezvous with Light – David H. Gibson & Chaco Terada photo-eye Gallery is excited to release a new portfolio Rendezvous with Light featuring work from represented artists David H. Gibson and Chaco Terada's two-person-show of the same name opening this Friday, November 17th.

photo-eye Gallery is excited to release a new portfolio, Rendezvous with Light, featuring work from represented artists David H. Gibson and Chaco Terada's two-person-show of the same name opening this Friday, November 17th. With over 35 works on view, the exhibition includes dual layer silk prints by Chaco Terada as well as silver gelatin prints, pigment ink prints, and handmade artist books by David H. Gibson. Rendezvous with Light juxtaposes Gibson and Terada's images and focuses on themes such as nature, time, origin, and of course – light. While the artists often work closely together they maintain separate practice and express their ideas uniquely.




photo-eye will be hosting an Artist Reception for Gibson and Terada on Friday, November 17th from 5–7pm, Rendezvous with Light will be on view through December 30th.

Chaco Terada - Light Banquet, 2017, Sumi Ink and Pigment Ink on Silk 10x7" Image, $1200 •

David H. Gibson – Lotus Stems and Cloud Reflections, Texas Gulf Coast, 1998,
Toned Gelatin-Silver Print, 9.5x13" Image, Edition of 45, $1200 


David H. Gibson – Backlighted Moss, Mill Pond, Caddo Lake Texas
Toned Gelatin-Silver Print 9.3x5.5" Image, Edition of 50, $400 


Chaco Terada - There, the Opening 3, 2017 Sumi Ink and Pigment Ink on Silk 10x7" Image, $1200 


Chaco Terada - Garden Without Spacetime F1, 2017 Sumi Ink and Pigment Ink on Silk 10x7" Image, $1200 


David H. Gibson - Cypress Island, Village Creek, Texas, 1987 Gelatin-Silver Print 6x6" Image, Edition of 50, $600 



Works by David H. Gibson are available in Limited Editions and prices may change as the edition sells. Works by Chaco Terada are UNIQUE due to her technique, please inquire as to their current availability. All works above were available at the listed price at the time this post was published.

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 Photobook Phenomenon, by Moritz Neumüller, Lesley A. Martin, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi, Martin Parr, Horacio Fernández, Ryuichi Kaneko, Gerry Badger, Erik Kessels, and Irene de Mendoza, as Book of the Week.

Photobook Phenomenon.
By Moritz Neumüller, Lesley A. Martin, Markus Schaden, 
Frederic Lezmi, Martin Parr, Horacio Fernández, Ryuichi 
Kaneko, Gerry Badger, Erik Kessels, and Irene de Mendoza 
Barcelona: CCCB, Foto Colectania, and RM, 2017.

Laura M. André selects Photobook Phenomenon, by Moritz Neumüller, Lesley A. Martin, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi, Martin Parr, Horacio Fernández, Ryuichi Kaneko, Gerry Badger, Erik Kessels, and Irene de Mendoza, from Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Foto Colectania, and RM as Book of the Week.

For all but those experts armed with extensive knowledge, experience, and access to rare collections, the photobook world can be a daunting place. It's easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of books, artists, designers, and publishers that appear in any given year, not to mention the vast history of photography books, many of which are so rare that you and I will only ever know them through reproductions.

Like all areas of art history, as well as public and private collecting, the histories, criticisms, and theories about photography books are evolving and hardly fixed. After all, scholars, critics, collectors—and booksellers—can't even seem to agree on what the term photobook  includes, excludes, or means. 

Curious and perhaps daunted neophytes have a number of encyclopedic publications to help guide them as they begin to navigate the photobook world, but many of these books on books have themselves become collectible, expensive, and, some people might argue, a bit too influential in terms of the photobook marketplace.

Published to accompany a major photobook exhibition in Barcelona, Photobook Phenomenon is a collection of eight easily digestible, illustrated booklets, each of which addresses certain aspects of the photobook world. Beginning with an overview that provides a glimpse into what the "phenomenon" is all about, subsequent volumes address:

  • A case study of a canonical photobook, William Klein's Life Is Good & Good for You in New York;
  • A compendium of the best of the best photobooks according to photobook collector Martin Parr, one of the individuals most responsible for the recent photobook phenomenon; 
  • An essay that considers the personal libraries of Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Gabriel Cualladó as singular photobook museums;
  • Ryuichi Kaneko's illuminating presentation of 5 distinct aspects unique to, or particularly important to Japanese photobooks;
  • A concise examination of the differences between politically oriented photobooks as propaganda and as protest;
  • Erik Kessels' iconoclastic, unique look at fascination and failure in photobooks, and;
  • A final round of case studies of contemporary artists working to expand the boundaries, capabilities, and forms of photobooks. 

I'm a big fan of this publication because it doesn't take itself too seriously. While certainly not an exhaustive study (itself an impossible task), it does lead by example insofar as it eschews a single narrative and includes a plurality of voices and perspectives.

As we enter the year-end cavalcade of book awards and best of lists, use the information to learn about books you might not have known otherwise, but above all, keep in mind why certain kinds of books interest you. Whether it's subject matter, particular artists, book design, contemporary relevance, historical context, a favorite publisher, or a combination of factors, figure out what you like, and why you like it. If you focus your collection based on these personal and intellectual guides, I can't promise you'll never be overwhelmed, but you will have a stronger sense of navigation through the photobook phenomenon.

 — Laura M. André

Purchase Book

Photobook Phenomenon
By Moritz Neumüller, Lesley A. Martin, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi, Martin Parr, Horacio Fernández, 
Ryuichi Kaneko, Gerry Badger, Erik Kessels, and Irene de Mendoza. Barcelona: CCCB, Foto Colectania, and RM, 2017.

Photobook Phenomenon
By Moritz Neumüller, Lesley A. Martin, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi, Martin Parr, Horacio Fernández, 
Ryuichi Kaneko, Gerry Badger, Erik Kessels, and Irene de Mendoza.  Barcelona: CCCB, Foto Colectania, and RM, 2017.







Laura M. André earned a 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 photo-eye's book division.


photo-eye Gallery OPENING Friday November 17th, 2017 – Rendezvous with Light by David H. Gibson & Chaco Terada photo-eye Gallery is honored to announce Rendezvous with Light an exhibition of photographs by represented artists David H. Gibson and Chaco Terada.


David H. Gibson & Chaco Terada
Rendezvous with Light

Opening & Artist Reception
Friday, November 17, 5–7pm
On View: Nov. 17 – December, 2017

photo-eye Gallery is honored to announce Rendezvous with Light an exhibition of photographs by represented artists David H. Gibson and Chaco Terada. The two-person-show will feature over 35 works including dual layer silk prints by Chaco Terada as well as silver gelatin prints, pigment ink prints, and handmade artist books by David H. Gibson.


Book Review Bystander: A History of Street Photography By Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz Reviewed by Blake Andrews Bystander is required reading for all street photographers. If you're relatively new to the street game and/or you do not own an earlier edition, this book should be in your library, period. If you're an armchair street shooter exploring the genre or searching for historical context, or just a photo buff looking for an entertaining narrative, this book is for you too.
Bystander: A History of Street Photography 
Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz.
Laurence King Publishing, 2017. 
 
Bystander:
A History of Street Photography

Reviewed by Blake Andrews.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography.
Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz.
Laurence King Publishing, London, England, 2017. In English. 400 pp
 

Street photography is the red-headed stepchild of the photo world, often maligned or dismissed by reputable galleries and museums. Even within the street photography community, there is discord. Territories are staked out. Arguments and cliques abound. The very term street photography is rejected by many of its practitioners, including Garry Winogrand himself. If the whole enterprise seems rather uninviting, that's fitting. Anyone who has wandered an urban sidewalk peering in on private scenes quickly realizes that alienation is integral to the art.

But despite its outsider status — or maybe because of it? — street photography's popularity has exploded in recent decades. Its simplicity attracts all comers — no props, assistants, studio, or planning necessary; just walk out the door and you're ready. In fact, one can hardly walk three blocks in Manhattan without bumping into another Leica-toting flaneur. In other cities, they cluster even thicker. The digital revolution has poured fuel on the fire. Topnotch cameras and an online support network are now widely accessible, along with a small cottage industry of street photography workshops, festivals, clubs, and guides. If you'll pardon the expression, street photography is in the midst of a decisive moment.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

The movement has grown so quickly it threatens to outstrip its own foundation. The last major tome to tackle street photography from a historical perspective was published in 1994, just on the cusp of the digital revolution. I'm referring to Bystander, the magnum opus by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. This is the book that put street photography — defined therein as "candid pictures of everyday life in the street"— on the map, and also on countless bookshelves. Its second edition in 2001 was a slight revision of the first. Together they came to be known as "the Bible" of street. As a historical text Bystander has never had any real competition. Oh sure, there's been a rush of street photography surveys published this millennium: Street & Studio, Street Photography Now, World Atlas of Street Photography, The Street Photographer's Manual, and so on. But these have been primarily concerned with the contemporary. None have given street photography the historical framework and academic study that Bystander did.

The third edition of Bystander, fully revised and just published by Laurence King in London, comes not a moment too soon. Twenty-three years is an eternity in the digital age. I'm guessing there were fewer street shooters back in 1994, but it's hard to know precisely. Social media did not exist and records are thin. Let's just assume a lot has changed. The chore of catching us up to speed on interim events while affirming the chronicle of past ones, all amid the frantic momentum of a quickly evolving scene, is probably beyond the scope of any book. But Bystander takes a shot, for better or for worse.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

Let me cover the better part first. The main core of Bystander — a roughly chronological survey of European/American street photography featuring its key innovators, styles, and trends — remains largely intact. Here and there passages have been altered (notably on Frank's The Americans), and the original photo selection slightly re-edited. This is about 80% of the book. Throughout the entire book, the reproductions have been given a thorough scrubbing. The contrast and tonality of the monochromes are greatly improved from earlier editions, as are the saturation and fidelity of the color photos. With these rough edges newly burnished and the entire thing given a fresh layout by Atlas Design, the book feels lively and inviting.

A few items have been added. First of all, there are many new photos added to the folios throughout the book. These folios, a facet of all Bystander editions going back to the first, are regularly spaced sections of twenty-plus pages with only photographs, no text. They are curated by Meyerowitz, and his choices are smart and enlightening. The historical selections are mostly monochrome and show a keen eye for B-Sides. Many of these images are obscure enough to jolt even the most jaded street connoisseur, making the book a treat to browse as well as read. Throughout the book, but particularly toward the later chapters, the folios have been expanded to incorporate contemporary shooters, especially those working in color. It's nice to see standard-bearers like Leiter, Mermelstein, Webb, Parr, and Gruyeart get their due here. Vivian Maier makes an appearance, as do monochrome stalwarts like Trent Parke, Jeff Ladd, and Peter Kayafas. That none were included in the canon twenty years ago tells how much has changed. 

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

While Meyerowitz is responsible for the photos, Westerbeck tackles the writing, and he comes out swinging. His excellent lead essay, “Now and Then: In Defense of Traditional Street Photography,” places the genre in a contemporary context of post-modernism. As the chapter title implies, Westerbeck is not a post-modern fan, at least as it relates to street shooting. DiCorcia and Wall? Pretenders to the throne. He lambasts Doug Rickard and Michael Wolf as "practitioners of Googledy Gawk."  Poor Doug Rickard, so lost he suffers from "an inability to distinguish between what he does and real street photography." Paul Graham's "inherently uninteresting" street photos suffer from "utter blandness." By the time he gets to Beat Streuli —"generic"— and Baldessari —"a detached analysis of photography itself"— it's open season on the so-called post-modernists. For Westerbeck, they represent "the dullness of life theorized about rather than experienced."

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

Westerbeck contrasts this approach with that of the traditional street photographer enmeshed in boots-on-the-ground observation. His description "at once joyous and jaundiced… a state of heightened consciousness" roots street photography in the experiential. Photographers of this type are probably the primary audience for this book, and they'll want to pull up a seat with some popcorn as Westerbeck repels the post-modern invaders. The subtext to Westerbeck's thesis is that many of the facets driving street photography's current popularity — its simplicity, accessibility, honesty, and open-ended motivations — run counter to prevailing art world trends. But street photographers don't need a book to know that. Alienation comes with the territory.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

The other new writing is the end piece, “The Conversation Continues,” a transcribed dialogue about street photography between Meyerowitz and Westerbeck. This is an extension of a conversation that appeared in the original editions. The discussion ranges naturally from topic to topic the way conversations do, touching on new photographers of interest, old ones like Maier and Arbus, and where all this street photography business might be headed. I suppose it's meant to bring readers up to date. But the scope of any such conversation is necessarily limited, and one is left wondering as much about all the things that weren't covered as those that were.

It's here that Bystander runs into difficulty, for a lot is left uncovered. Indeed, wide swaths are missing completely. Where to begin? There is no flash photography shown after Weegee. Nary a mention of Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr. The Japanese, who've pioneered enough street photography to fill several history books, are nowhere to be found. There's scarcely a peep from Greece, Thailand, Israel, India, Poland, or any other street shooting hotspot. There are no photographers from South America or Africa, and just a single photographer (the wonderful Raghubir Singh) from Asia, a continent that a majority of humans currently call home. Roy DeCarava gets a brief mention in the text, and a handful of women manage to place photos in the book. But beyond that Bystander is essentially a Eurocentric, white male survey of available light. If the book were subtitled A History of Street Photography in Europe and the U.S. it would be no problem. But the actual subtitle, A History of Street Photography, promises more — too much, as it turns out.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

I don't want to get bogged down in identity politics. Let it take a backseat to Meyerowitz and Westerbeck’s unquestionable expertise. Westerbeck is "the acknowledged foremost expert on street photography," if you believe the jacket blurb. But their blind spots are glaring. I think the authors would freely admit they don't have their finger on the pulse of this increasingly global phenomenon. Street photography has become accessible to all and practiced by all, and that is its huge potential strength. That the book's recent update does not reflect this fact feels like a missed opportunity.

Faults aside, Bystander is required reading for all street photographers. If you're relatively new to the street game and/or you do not own an earlier edition, this book should be in your library, period. If you're an armchair street shooter exploring the genre or searching for historical context, or just a photo buff looking for an entertaining narrative, this book is for you too. Heck, the photographs alone are spectacular enough to justify a purchase.

Bystander: A History of Street Photography Text by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz. Laurence King Publishing, 2017.

For street shooters who already own an earlier edition, the equation is murkier. The fact is, assuming you can find your tattered copy amid the clutter of your old film binders, you already possess most of what's in this third edition. What you're getting extra is two nice essays and a new portfolio of recent street photos, all in a slicker package. The latest edition presents a familiar modern dilemma, the one you face every day on your smartphone. Do you upgrade or do you stay put? Do you join the fray? Or do you wander alone as you were, happily alienated? 
— Blake Andrews

Purchase Book

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

Read more book reviews

photo-eye Gallery NEW WORK – Maggie Taylor: Through the Looking-Glass photo-eye Gallery is delighted to debut six new works by Maggie Taylor completing her series, Through the Looking-Glass.

Through the looking-glass, 2017, 15x15", Archival Pigment Print, $2,800 – © Maggie Taylor
8x8" edition only available in the Limited Edition Through the Looking-Glass monograph - expected March, 2018 
photo-eye Gallery is delighted to debut six new images by represented artist Maggie Taylor. Known for her whimsical and intuitive style, Taylor uses digital technology to build evocative photomontages of what she terms "dreamlike worlds inhabited by everyday objects." Inspired in part by Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland, the images released today serve to complete the artist's multi-year poetic-narrative project Through the Looking Glass. Prints from Through the Looking Glass, as well as other series by Taylor, are available in limited editions at various sizes.

Maggie Taylor:
Though the Looking-Glass

8 x 8 inches, Edition of 15 – $1,500

15 x 15 inches, Edition of 15 – $2,800

22 x 22 inches, Edition of 10 – $4,500

36 x 36 inches, Edition of 5 – $8,000

» Inquire about Prints

• Prints are available in limited editions and price is subject to change as the edition sells.
Prices listed are current at the time this post was published.

 For more information and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 
505-988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

Soup, 2017, 8x8", Archival Pigment Print, $1,500 – © Maggie Taylor

Strange Things, 2017, 8x8", Archival Pigment Print, $1,500 – © Maggie Taylor

Without my knowing it, 2017, 8x8", Archival Pigment Print, $1,500 – © Maggie Taylor

The feast, 2017, 8x8", Archival Pigment Print, $1,500 – © Maggie Taylor

And what Alice found there, 2017, 8x8", Archival Pigment Print, $1,500 – © Maggie Taylor

A monograph for Through the Looking Glass is currently in production with an expected publication date in March 2018. A Limited Edition version of the book will include an 8x8" archival pigment print of the image Through the looking-glass (see top) made and signed by Maggie Taylor –100 copies of the limited edition will be available, and it will be the only way to purchase the 8x8" edition of the image. Full details regarding the monograph and limited edition will be released in the coming weeks. 

Preview Image for Through the Looking-Glass monograph
by Maggie Taylor – expected March, 2018.





For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com.

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects The Transverse Path (or Nature's Little Secret) by Mike Slack as Book of the Week.
The Transverse Path: (or Nature's Little Secret)
By Mike Slack The Ice Plant, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects The Transverse Path: (or Nature's Little Secret)  by Mike Slack from The Ice Plant as Book of the Week.

"Mike Slack is no stranger to the photobook world. In addition to his many acclaimed monographs, Slack also co-runs The Ice Plant, a publisher responsible for some of the best photobooks made in the past decade. Based in Los Angeles, Slack has quickly become a major player in the world of contemporary photography after taking up photography in his late twenties. The Transverse Path (or Nature’s Little Secret) is his latest monograph, and in my sincere opinion, his best work to date.

Fans of Slack's oeuvre will notice familiar motifs in this new body of work. Geometric peculiarities and abandoned detritus alike are bathed in golden light. The poetic landscape is so familiar that you easily become engrossed in the work, yet just alien enough to keep you captivated after multiple readings. While primarily shot in the American West, Slack weaves in photographs from Peru, France, and Hawaii with seamless transitions. The end result is a fictitious dreamscape that feels like home and an unfamiliar land all at once.

Romantic and witty, serene and disorganized, simplistic and complex, it becomes hard to pin down exactly why this book is so powerful. The Transverse Path is such a tactile book, that when reading it you are instantly transported into Slack’s fantastical world. This book holds its own alongside publications like ZZYZX and Lago, but more importantly, it adds to the photographic conversation.

The mark of a good photobook is the impact that it leaves on the viewer, and The Transverse Path certainly accomplishes this goal. In the past week, I have picked up this book almost incessantly. Whether I spend an hour reading the book, or a few minutes glancing through the images, this book always astonishes me with the amount of skill, thought, and beauty that permeates the pages. Ultimately, this book serves as a wonderful entry point into one of the rising stars of the photographic world, and a stunning example of the masterful artistry that can be found in a successful photobook." — Forrest Soper

Purchase Book

The Transverse Path: (or Nature's Little Secret) By Mike Slack The Ice Plant, 2017.

The Transverse Path: (or Nature's Little Secret) By Mike Slack The Ice Plant, 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/