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Best Books 2014: Martin Parr

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

By Eammon Doyle

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

The ever enterprising Pierre Bassard shows this latest project from Fontcuberta. The Trepart collection of Modern Photography has accumulated many images from Modern Masters of avant garde photography in their depiction of thisimportant metal working company. Fontcuberta is as convincing as ever in his treatise and the special edition even features a stamped metal blade on the cover.

*This title is out-of-print. Email us to be notified if copies become available.
By Andy Rocchelli

Just before this photojournalist died while he was working in The Ukraine he was finishing off a project where he had accumulated photos of Russian women who were looking for partners from the West. He originally did this for the women, but then built his own interpretation around the same shooting. The book has been published posthumously and is a wonderful production with numerous gatefolds and this series of slightly unsettling portraits.
By Alejandro Cartagena

Although we have seen this work before, what a pleasure to see how this self-published project so cleverly combines the photos of the passing open plan trucks with their passengers laid out flat, but also the skies and scenes that can be viewed from the truck itself.

*This title is out-of-print. Email us to be notified if copies become available.
By Paolo Pellegrin & Alex Majoli

Rarely do bodies of commissioned work look this good, and these two Magnum photographers have done a brilliant job in recording and interpreting the less troublesome Congo. Not only are the two photographer’s work unaccredited, but they have also pursued multiple styles: mixing color, black and white, panoramas and many other formats. Somehow all this comes together and the resulting narrative makes a compelling body of work.
By Felipe Russo
Camera Brasileira de Catalologacao na Publicacao

This has been a good year for books from Latin America, and this small and charming book on Sao Paulo works very well. A combination of wider views depicting the urban anarchy of the city, with some deceptively simple and surreal street details pull together to make a fascinating book.
By Miyako Ishiuchi
PPP Editions

PPP editions continue to produce very classy artists books, and this year have come out with a stunner. This was a project waiting to happen, as there is no better photographer to go and take photos of the clothes, shoes, and other remnants that survived the Hiroshima bomb, which are now housed in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The book is a beautiful production, with no text apart from the signed minimal colophon, which is inserted. There are hundreds of images, and the book is housed in a bland cardboard cover and slipcase.
By Irina Werning

This project where snapshots from the past are updated to now with uncanny accuracy has finally made it into book form. Werner takes her subjects and creates the same clothes and backdrops from the past. Many of the images also have ‘making of’ images behind perforated pages as an added bonus.
Soviet Bus Stops*
By Christopher Herwig

Rarely do Kickstarter campaigns excite so much where the whole edition was totally oversubscribed. This Canadian photographer turned searching for decorated or unusual Russian (and Eastern Block) bus stops into a religion with aid from social media and even Kazakhstan taxi drivers. The final book shows the incredible range of bus stops and the strange places they reside. Expect a trade edition soon.

*This title is out-of-print. Email us to be notified if copies become available.
By Carolyn Drake

Drake has circumnavigated the often difficult second book syndrome after the success of Two Rivers, published in 2013. This book shows images from the Xinjiang Uyhur Autonomous Region in China, where as well as taking her own photos she embarked on creating collaborative images with people she had encountered, as well as digesting the stories they told.

Martin Parr is a photographer, a curator and editor. Volume 3 of The Photobook, A History was published earlier this year and he is currently working on a book about the history of Chinese photobooks.