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PHOTO-EYE BEST BOOKS 2018
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Jeff Mermelstein's favorite book from 2018

The aesthetic simplicity of this book fuels in a fresh way an awareness of the course of human destiny and our environment by depicting a Nomadic people’s use of Russian and Chinese plastic packaging materials as an improvisational means of protection from the extreme cold conditions while doing something ancient. The book is understated in its physicality but with elegance and subtlety depicts these people with grace, homage, and respect. A humble, refined testimony to survival, adaptation and a spirit of pure strength and that is a welcome thing to see in our world right now.


Jeff Mermelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors, was born in 1957 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son. A photographer since his teenage years, he is the author of three books Sidewalk, Dewi Lewis, 1999, No Title Here, powerHouse, 1993, and Twirl / Run, powerHouse, 2009. His two upcoming books are Hardened, Morel Books, edited by David Campany and Arena, TBW Books.

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Jeff Mermelstein's favorite book from 2018

This past summer my family and I went to Alaska for vacation. One of the life-changing encounters I had was the experience of taking long, introspective walks over lingering nature paths to find the unmatched, humbling, magnificence of the glaciers. However, the experience was bittersweet as we witnessed the glaciers crying, melting, disappearing.

When I first learned about Peter Funch’s new book, The Imperfect Atlas, a childlike excitement came over me in anticipation of the book, with some of the visual clues that the publisher displayed on the website. I started to think about my memory of the look of the 1970s color television screens. I contemplated the tragedy of global warming and how Funch communicates this profound issue in a way that utilizes an intelligence that is precise, inventive, playful, scientific, complex, surprising, telling and very much human.

Once in the hand, all desires and expectations are exceeded, in a format that befits and expands Peter Funch’s evolving vision and quest.


Jeff Mermelstein, the son of Holocaust survivors, was born in 1957 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son. A photographer since his teenage years , he is the author of five books: Sidewalk, Dewi Lewis, 1999, No Title Here, powerHouse , 1993, Twirl / Run, powerHouse, 2009, and most recently Arena, TBW , 2019 and Hardened, Morel, 2019. Mermelstein has been on the teaching faculty of ICP in New York since 1987.