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Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Forrest Soper Forrest Soper selects Walden by S.B. Walker as Book of the Week.
WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 2017.
Forrest Soper selects Walden by S.B. Walker from Kehrer Verlag as Book of the Week.

"Walden, the first monograph from S.B. Walker, explores photographs taken at the iconic Massachusetts pond of the same name, made famous by Henry David Thoreau in 1854. Over the course of four years, Walker would photograph the pond, and its visitors, every day after he left work. Instead of attempting to replicate the romantic vision of isolation in pristine nature that Thoreau wrote about, Walker focused his camera on the current state of Walden Pond.

Now a popular tourist destination, Walden Pond has 700,000 people visit each year. The hiking trails are well worn, and signs of human activity are omnipresent. The theme of human intervention seems to be a recurring motif in Walker’s work. Wire fences separate hiking trails from the wilderness, tangled fishing wire and ice cream cones are discarded on the ground, and cell phones fill the hands of visitors. The modern life that Thoreau sought to escape seems to be rapidly encroaching on the land that he once called home.

However, it wasn’t Walden’s convoluted legacy that drew me to this particular publication. There is something almost inexplicable about Walker’s photographs. S.B. Walker is able to beautifully capture a haunting stillness in his work. Throughout the book, I am frequently torn between senses of melancholy peacefulness, curious perplexion, and unsettling loss. This book seems to speak equally on the past, the present and the future, with the end result being a body of work that seems frozen in time.

Part eulogy and part love song, Walden is filled with complex simplicity. Each photograph speaks volumes beyond what is immediately apparent. Every frame seems to be a short poem, and when viewed in sequence, the book becomes incredibly powerful. Since I’ve received Walden, I’ve found myself returning to the images time and time again. Whether you are a fan of Thoreau’s essay or not, S.B. Walker’s Walden is sure to leave a lasting impact." — Forrest Soper

Purchase Book

WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 2017.

WaldenBy S.B. WalkerKehrer Verlag, 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.