I love the way these pictures can be simultaneously dark and vibrant at the same time. And wow, Steidl sure knows how to print. The reproductions in this book glow as though they are sitting on a light box.
Some people will look at this book and see a handful of family photos of a boy holding fish. I see the father who was holding the camera, and the connection that the ritual of fishing was meant to create. Also, the safety-orange cover was a brilliant choice.
I approach "photography" projects that appropriate images from the internet with as much skepticism as the next guy, but this book won me over the minute I opened it. It's funny, it's smart, and the text at the front and back of the book is wonderful.
Color images on uncoated stock, pages folded at the fore-edge, a drop-spine hardcover... some of my favorite things. This book is such a wonderful, tactile surprise coming from a large publisher like Aperture. More, please.
This may be my favorite project from the guys at Charles Lane yet. They are producing books that are consistently on par with the quality of Aperture or Steidl, and they choose remarkable projects like this one to support. Oh, and there's only two of them.
Who could believe that taking a simple formula-driven approach to the sampling of a photographic archive would produce such a beautiful collection of images, and reveal so many amazing moments? I could.
One of the reasons I find series of portraits so compelling is that they often end up becoming more about their viewer than their subject. The images in this book make that leap exceptionally well, in part because of how little of each subject is actually visible. I see a soldier's head in extreme close-up, or a veteran wrapped in heavy cloth, and as my brain reaches to fill in the missing details, it is my own perspective that is exposed.
A beautifully done book for an incredible and overwhelming project. I've had many people tell me that they think Deb's pictures are depressing or sad, but I've never seen them that way. For me these images are about life, not death.
I believe that truly great athletes are artists, whether or not they perform for an audience. The type of study contained in this book has been done before with dancers, acrobats, and even naked rugby players, but the images here are raw and intimate, rather than polished and staged. It seems as if the acrobats aren't performing for the camera or for an audience at all... they would be doing this even if we were not watching. That, to me, is where art begins.
Mark's photographs are so incredibly rich. Each image in this collection conveys the equivalent of an entire short story about summer. I challenge anyone to look through this book and not smile... or at least crave a popsicle.
Kevin Messina is the founder of Silas Finch, a New York based non-profit organization that works collaboratively with artists to publish ambitious photographic projects.