Some of the best photo books available to buy now, including Gucci’s study of Dapper Dan and his Harlem hometown and surreal, collaged Turkish landscapes
From 1970s Modena to contemporary Harlem, a look at some of the most exciting photography books available this month takes us on a trip around the world. Here, the publications we’re most excited to get our hands on.
Encompassing works created over a 24-year period, Showcaller is an exciting new monograph of New York-based photographer Talia Chetrit. Self-portraits, stylised “murder pictures”, still lifes, street photography and portraits of friends and family make up the imagery in Showcaller, the first instances of which were made when Chetrit was a teenager in the 90s. Performativity is key to Chetrit’s provocative and intimate photography, and her work is laced with a playful eroticism. Think: self-portraits of Chetrit wearing only a transparent plastic outfit, or a naked couple intertwined on a green in bright sunshine.
Laura Jane Coulson’s latest publication is titled Pleasing, a fitting description for the collection of photographs within it. Coulson captures things she considers to be beautiful, even if unconventionally so: a close-up of squashed and soapy pieces of fruit sits alongside shots of people seen from behind as they sit in the sun (shooting the backs of people is something the photographer returns to throughout). There is a sunshine-esque warmth to Coulson’s photography, making for a compelling – and indeed pleasing – publication.
Felicia Honkasalo’s debut photo book is a project close to home for the Finnish photographer: Grey Cobalt combines landscapes of Finland with photographs exploring both real and imagined possessions of her late grandfather. “I wanted to create something that I have no memory of, who he had been,” the photographer told AnOther of how she decided to interrogate the notion of memory. “If I had no grounded memories of the person who had passed away, did he really exist? Could I find the memories somewhere else? Could I create them?”
For Gucci’s latest venture into publishing, the Italian house presents a celebration of iconic New York couturier Dapper Dan. Dapper Dan’s Harlem sees the designer and others photographed by Ari Marcopoulos in the titular Manhattan neighbourhood that has been home to Daniel ‘Dapper Dan’ Day since the 50s, and where his boutique was located and reopened in December 2017. This leather bound tome, available via IDEA, is not the first time Gucci has looked to Dapper Dan: a collaborative collection was launched last year after Alessandro Michele referenced some of Dapper Dan’s iconic designs in Gucci’s Cruise 2018 show.
Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri spent decades photographing his local area in extraordinary colour, in what became a study of how images were saturating daily life in the second half of the 20th century. A travelling exhibition on Ghirri’s extensive and groundbreaking photography began last year and continues until May of 2019, while the accompanying photo book, The Map and the Territory, has now been reprinted in hardback by MACK books. “My focus on the destruction of direct experience – the invasion of images into our living environments – begins here,” the photographer writes in the book’s introduction. “In the work, I wanted to offer an analysis of truth and falsehood, of the gap between what we are, and the image of what we’re supposed to be – and ultimately to think critically about the denial and concealment of truth.”
To mark the centenary of Bauhaus this year, Taschen is releasing an updated edition of its Ultimate Guide to the school of art. The mammoth tome is a compelling and comprehensive look at Bauhaus in the world of art and architecture, looking at key figures – like Walter Gropius, Josef Albers and Marianne Brandt – and the impactful work they created, illustrated with over 550 images. Bauhaus enthusiasts, rejoice!
Douglas Mandry’s surreal landscapes are the result of combining analogue and digital practices, and an experimental approach to the process of photography. Collaged and colour-blocked landscapes form an unexpected view of Turkish mountainous scenes, and “ice photograms” of glaciers – in which negatives are replaced with sheets of ice in the development process – feature in Equivalences, a monograph that brings together various series focused on the natural world from Mandry’s career.