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2016 Best Books: John Gossage

Books John Gossage: 2016 Best Books John Gossage Selects diane arbus : in the beginning, The Democratic Forest, and Shelter Island as the Best Books of 2016
John Gossage
John Gossage Still doing all the same stuff.

diane arbus; in the beginningBy Diane Arbus
Yale University Press, 2016.
diane arbus : in the beginning
Photographs by Diane Arbus
It is really all about the pictures, isn’t it? All I ever wanted from the photobooks I bought, has been the genius of great pictures. When I read these days in the description of a book “ in collaboration with the famed Dutch designer” I cringe. This is a perfectly but simply designed book of completely remarkable early pictures by Diane Arbus.

 She once long ago told me as a warning that I should be careful as a young photographer not to let others tell me what to photograph. She said that it was one of her greatest regrets that she hadn’t listened to her own voice enough earlier in her life. It would appear that she always listened to that voice and knew what the story was, just not enough to satisfy herself until a bit later.

Read the review by Blake Andrews on photo-eye Blog
Purchase Book Here

The Democratic ForestBy William EgglestonSteidl, 2015.
The Democratic Forest
Photographs by William Eggleston
More brilliant pictures per pound than any publication I have ever owned. Even though Bill took the pictures years ago they are as fresh as the present moment. Then there is the perfect execution by everyone at Steidl, printing, design and the wonderful covers. A bit expensive, but not when you just think of it as about $60.00 a book.

There is one glaring lack of courage in the edit that I can’t help but comment on though. After praising the whole concept of “ Photographing Democratically” the editors (not Bill I’m sure) make each volume a corny category instead of just the flow of life that Bill followed. That said still a set of volumes that I will continue to be stunned by for years.

Selected as Book of the Week by Jeff Mermelstein 
Purchase Book Here

Shelter Island
By Roe EthridgeMack, 2016.
Shelter Island 
Photographs by Roe Ethridge
Why do we look at the pictures of others when we make our own? For me it is to be mystified by another’s vision and skills that are not mine. This thin volume of 16 pictures, of what appears to be the Ethridge family’s beach holiday with no text, should not be interesting at all. But-------
“The but” is that the pictures haunt me. The colors, the volume of everything pictured, the simple sequence that doubles back on itself, things that look dumb but never are. It doesn’t get any better than this, it makes me smile. But as well as the differences between what I do and what Roe does, there is at least the one companionship of making “pictures to annoy people” that we share.

Read the review by Sarah Bay Gachot on photo-eye Blog
Purchase Book Here

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