Featured in this week's newsletter, the second volume in the Blind Spot Series, Richard Misrach's new monograph 1991. Following the devastating fire which swept through Oakland and Berkeley in October of 1991, Misrach ventured into the fire zone and documented the aftermath with his 8x10 view camera. These images — which have been largely unseen until now — give a grim representation of an environment where nearly three thousand homes were destroyed. The ravaged urban landscape depicted in these photographs offer some of Misrach's most powerful and striking work and add another strong chapter to this photographer's extensive career. Published on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the California fire, signed copies will be arriving soon and are available for preorder.
Published by JRP|Ringier, Rodarte is a unique collaboration between fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy and acclaimed photographers Catherine Opie and Alec Soth. This monograph came to fruition through the designers' desire to combine the visual arts alongside a story line of their short but prolific history in the fashion world. Each photographer set out to create a new body of work specifically for this monograph and the result is an oddly successful combination of fashion photography and American story telling. Through a series of studio portraits, Opie contributes beautiful photographs of well-known models adorned in Rodarte pieces highlighted by bold backdrops and individual expression. Weaved throughout Opie's photographs is the work of Soth, creating a series of images depicting places of importance for the Mulleavy sisters within the state of California. Navigating in Berkeley, Big Sur, The Salton Sea and a list of other sites, Soth has compiled a highly absorbing series of Polaroids, snapshots and high-key landscapes. Rodarte is a thoughtfully designed book, pushing the boundaries of collaboration between varying art forms and visual aesthetics. Copies of this intriguing monograph are now in stock and available for order.
In a Lonely Place by photographer Gregory Crewdson is a stunning new monograph featuring three of the artist's most celebrated bodies of work, Beneath the Roses, Sanctuary and Fireflies. Beginning with Beneath the Roses, the photographer sets a tone of urban isolation and despair. High-end productions and precise lighting help construct an atmosphere of loneliness and alienation in otherwise commonplace scenes. Through his exacting technique, the photographer subtlety suggests a mystery lurking beneath these depictions of the everyday. This mystery is also apparent in Crewdson's cinematic investigation titled Sanctuary, photographed at the Cinecittà film studio in Rome. Founded by Mussolini and now abandoned, the Cinecittà studios offered Crewdson a backdrop to create a mysterious and surreal series that tells a story of disregard and neglect. Lastly, Fireflies is a beautiful collection of images documenting the photographer's lonely summer evenings at his family cabin in Becket, Massachusetts. Photographing fireflies at dusk, Crewdson captured the insects' unique mating ritual of using light to communicate attraction. Used as a metaphor for love and desire, the illuminated fireflies offer a striking visual ending to this superb book. A limited number of signed copies will be arriving soon and are available for preorder.
New from Japanese publisher Super Labo, JH Engström and Margot Wallard's Foreign Affair. This highly intimate book documents the love affair between the two artists, an affair that is a raw and explicit celebration of life and sexual freedom. The photographs here depict a liaison that seems both haphazard and carefree while in contrast, the images are presented in a thoughtfully designed and edited object. Also from Super Labo, Takashi Homma's In Our Nature is a series of photographs illustrating the human effort to recreate the natural world. The photographs in this book are beautiful and offer a representation of gardens and man-altered ecosystems that are visually unique and engaging. Copies of both Super Labo titles are arriving soon and available for preorder.
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