Juan Brenner’s Favorite Book from 2021

Apiary by Robin Friend.   Published by Loose Joints.

Apiary is a very impressive successor of the amazing Bastard Countryside Robin published with Loose Joints in 2018 (I think LJ are putting out the most interesting and innovative photobooks at the moment). Innovative in many ways, the square format and gorgeous graphic design on the cover opens the door to an amazing overdose of black ink. Again Robin dissects and analyzes a geographic entity with a really clever sequence and beautifully executed images. It's all about the mix of intense and graphic photography in dialogue with sometimes abstract and very dense situations.

Self-taught photographer, lives and works in Guatemala City.

After working in New York as a fashion photographer for over a decade, Brenner returned to his native Guatemala where he began making work about the people and complex territory in the country’s Western Highlands.

Juan uses photography to reflect on the fluidity and abstract nature of identity and territory, his images capture the complexities of cultural hybridization and, more poignantly, the way power, hierarchical structures and inequality are instrumentally continued through time.

Brenner’s first monograph, Tonatiuh, was shortlisted for the 2019 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award. For the same project, he was a winner of LensCulture’s 2019 Emerging Talent Award.