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Best Books of 2015: Interviews and Book of the Week Picks

Best Books of 2015 Best Books of 2015: Interviews and Book of the Week Picks Interviews and Book of the Week picks on 2015 Best Book selections.

By Lotte Reimann
Art Paper Editions

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
10x10 Photobooks
John Phelan

"Jaunt by Lotte Riemann is a fun, slightly sinister, super slick journey; the itinerary brilliantly mapped by Jurgen Maelfeyt, who designed and edited it. Rephotographing found photos of a swinging couple on her monitor, Reimann has repurposed them to tell a new story reflecting her own gaze."—from the Book of the Week Pick by John Phelan

Frame: A Retrospective
By Mark Cohen
University of Texas Press

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Kevin Messina

"I am fueling an obsession — with Tri-X. There is a certain exciting anticipation in looking at the film coming off the developing reel. So I can't talk about artistic obsession with a guy on the street who feels ripped off and is a little, or a lot, angry, so I try 'it's my hobby' and 'I'm an old guy' and that can do it but it is much better to know who to avoid but those are the people that I most want to photograph, so it is tricky — much more comfortable with a landscape."—from the interview with Mark Cohen on photo-eye Blog

R+R (Rest + Relaxation)
Created by Ryan Arthurs
Houseboat Press

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Kevin Messina

"The content, in this case, takes vintage found photographs of men in the military as its starting point. But then Arthurs takes the pictures someplace else entirely by screen printing brightly colored shapes over the figures in each image — simultaneously obscuring and highlighting the men. The result is a body of work that can be read on many levels, but it was the origins of the source material — photographs of servicemen at leisure — that led Arthurs to the very successful physical form of his book."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Kevin Messina

By Ron Jude

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
Aaron Schuman
David Campany
Gerry Badger
Hans Gremmen
Sarah Bradley

"In Lago — Jude’s return to the California desert of his early childhood — memory serves as a leaping-off point to engage equally with what is present — perhaps, doubling as a re-birthing and making relevant connections with an indelible past. Jude accomplishes this, in part, with an avoidance of technique or style as means of maneuvering around what one cannot do. His color renders as generous, consistent and 'true.' There are few devices employed in the layout and design. A few blank spreads offer opportunities to cleanse or reboot and are perfectly placed and confident in their silence."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Raymond Meeks

The Lonely Ones
By Gus Powell
J&L Books

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
Jeffrey Ladd
Aaron Schuman

"Taking inspiration from a 1942 publication of the same name by the celebrated cartoonist William Steig (whose work, like Powell’s, was regularly featured in The New Yorker), Powell pairs and then hides each of his quizzical photographs behind a gatefold that contains a carefully matched, one-line text: 'Let’s not ruin it by talking,' 'Mistakes were made,' 'We’ve met before,' 'Remember?' It’s rare that, when text is paired with image, it not only provides a particular window of insight for the viewer, but also reflects multiple meanings to prismatic effect, prying open already open-ended photographs even further."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Aaron Schuman

By Mariela Sancari
La Fabrica

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
10x10 Photobooks
Alejandro Cartagena
Colin Pantall
Daniel Boetker-Smith
Erik Kessels
Sarah Bradley
Thomas Sauvin

"The first time I saw the book, it was actually still a dummy in process but immediately it transported me into the sensation of wanting desperately to find someone you love but who is gone. Not having gotten to see that person for the last time dragged out a feeling in Mariela of not wanting to let go and these portraits position us in her shoes; in that place where you get a psychologically driven glimpse of that missing someone and how you want to obsessively check be sure if it's them or not. The book's sequencing is like looking for someone with Mariela, hand in hand searching and hoping one of these old men might bring her closure to an unresolved struggle that hurts like hell."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Alejandro Cartagena

By Geert Goiris
Roma Publications

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
Hans Gremmen
Sarah Bradley

"This book serves as a visual metaphor for a constant hum of low level anxiety with a shriek of nervous laughter, a muffled moan, a gasp, a sigh. There are moments of such tension in certain photographs, strategically and rhythmically placed throughout the book; I felt my heart leap periodically as if timed to a metronome. The double gauge shotgun of a man dousing himself in the smoke of three cigarettes and a swathe of scorched earth, a crumpled arthropod awash in magenta and an icy green hued snowdrift pushed hard up against a darkened road. Geert's book is an aria of estrangement, linked through a wintery nightscape and startlingly confronting portraits. I approach the Prophet in wonder and discomfort in equal measure."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Ying Ang

By Daisuke Yokota
Session Press

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by John Phelan

"In his new book Taratine, Yokota both reveals and conceals, offering glimpses of his personal life, in both text and image; profound, compound visions which are always subject to the dizzying aesthetic filters inherent to his practice. Yokota works consistently and with great energy and application to produce images that not only tell us about the strange gaps between life and art, but about the continued vitality of the 'mysteries of the dark-room' in the digital age."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Simon Baker

By Lucas Blalock
SPBH Editions

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Erik Kessels

"Lucas Blalock loves exploring the conventions of photography and pushing its borders. With SPBH Book Club Vol. VII, Lucas Blalock makes a book with hot dog sausages as his only subject, nicely photographed with strong shadows on a grey background. He developed a great talent at creating various compositions with these sausages, and each spread is a new surprise. This body of work pushes far away the level of irony. The book itself is a nice object in the continuation of the great Self Publish Be Happy Book Club collection."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Rémi Faucheux

By Mona Kuhn
Steidl, 2014. 112 pp., 74 color illustrations, 11¾x12¼".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by Christopher J. Johnson

"I usually work very intuitively. A way for me to start a series is to first imagine the colors as a way of limiting the palate. The colors that I first imagined for the series, colors that matured over time for me, were the sand tonalities — sand which at times resembles skin, the golden desert colorations and golden light and then the darker shades of brown and black — that was the palate that inspired me. I’ve been living out in Los Angels for quite some time so I was also very drawn to understanding the desert, as it was my surroundings."—from the interview with Mona Kuhn on photo-eye Blog

Crackle & Drag
By TR Ericsson
The Cleveland Museum of Art

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by:
Christopher J. Johnson
Jeffrey Ladd
Melanie McWhorter

"Crackle & Drag is a family album; it contains ephemera (family letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and personal possessions) all repackaged as original works of art. One series is photographic, but made by pushing graphite and his mother's funerary ashes through a silkscreen onto resin to create the images; another is nicotine on paper, but also involving photographic silkscreens. Every detail of his work is personal and, often, relies upon many generations of family artifacts."—from the Book of the Week Pick by Christopher J. Johnson