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Photobooks Under $30

Collecting photobooks is endlessly rewarding in and of itself, but the habit will certainly cost you. Thankfully, photo-eye stocks a great number of photobooks under $30, which I have written about here, here, here, here and here. These monographs, anthologies and magazines can provide you with an opportunity to explore the works of many talented photographers, often in one fell swoop. For this installment, we focus on three exquisite monographs. A love doll factory in China provides the fascinating backdrop for the photographs in Marco Van Duyvendijk's Love Doll Factory, teenage apathy inspires Charlie White's Such Appetite, and finally, we traipse through a summery backyard with Catherine Angel's three daughters in My Daughters. In addition to these three fantastic titles, Melanie McWhorter also recently explored Andy Mattern's Driven Snow ($20 signed) in our In-Print Photobook Video Series. That video can be seen here.

Marco Van Duyvendijk – Love Doll Factory
Marco Van Duyvendijk – Love Doll Factory $22 (signed)
In Marco Van Duyvendijk's new softbound monograph, Love Doll Factory, we travel to the manufacturing plants of China where blow-up dolls are assembled. Designed to relieve the stresses of modern man, the anatomically correct dolls are pictured here in their birthplace, giving a rare and welcomed glimpse into a different kind of toy workshop. Stacks of plastic breasts, hands, legs and arms fill the pages of Love Doll Factory, and we catch glimpses of the female factory workers who carefully put the dolls together. The sterile, cold factory is a subtle and smart metaphor for the intended sexual use of the dolls, perhaps a comment on the dispassionate nature of sexuality today.

Charlie White – Such Appetite
Charlie White – Such Appetite $18
As a follow-up to American Minor, which was recently featured on the Huffington Post, Such Appetite by Charlie White explores the banality of teenage life and suburban ennui. In this monograph, White follows a melancholic adolescent girl through her daily life in a vapid suburban town. The photographer injects a bit of humor and sarcasm in this series with his deadpan photographic compositions, playfully reiterated by Stephanie Ford's poetry.

Catherine Angel – My Daughters
Catherine Angel – My Daughters $7
Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Grant Hall Gallery in 2002, My Daughters by Catherine Angel is a tender and touching look at Angel's three daughters and their relationship to one another. The three young girls are photographed swimming and playing in the nude in their own backyard. Each of the girls possess a subtle confidence, complemented by Angel's poetic compositions. It is rare that a photographer so close to her subjects can capture their graceful beauty without becoming overly sentimental, but Angel achieves a fine balance. –Erin Azouz