Todd Hido’s Favorite Book from 2020

Day Sleeper by Dorothea Lange & Sam Contis.   Published by Mack.

Of all the books I acquired in 2020, Day Sleeper by Dorothea Lange and Sam Contis, is one that I keep going back to and looking at again and again.

Each viewing brings out certain pictures that feel so fresh and interesting. I would attribute this to Contis being a really curious photographer herself, as she helped bring forth what Lange had expressed at the end of her life — her wish to "photograph constantly, every hour… and assemble a record of everything to which I have had a direct response.”

Lange also mentions that this would become a complete visual diary. One of the things I find most interesting is that the book fluctuates back and forth from Lange’s documentary mode that we have all seen before. But the real standouts in this book are the intimate images of Lange’s family and friends. The combination is riveting.

Honorable Mentions:
The White Sky by Mimi Plumb
ciprian honey cathedral by Raymond Meeks

Todd Hido (born in Kent, Ohio, 1968) wanders endlessly, taking lengthy road trips in search of imagery that connects with his own memories. Through his unique landscape process and signature color palette, Hido alludes to the quiet and mysterious side of suburban America — where uniform communities provide for a stable façade — implying the instability that lies behind the walls. He has published more than a dozen books, including the award-winning monograph Excerpts from Silver Meadows (2013) and the innovative B-side box set designed to function as a companion piece. His latest book, Bright Black World, was released by Nazraeli press in the Fall of 2018. Hido is also a collector, and over the last twenty-five years has created one of the most notable photobook collections, which was featured in Bibliomania: The World’s Most Interesting Private Libraries (Random House, 2019).