Eight Visually Arresting Photo Books to Buy This Month

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The Drag Explosion
The Drag ExplosionPhotography by Linda Simpson

Offering a visual escape from the winter gloom, our round up of this month’s best photographic releases spans tender reflections on womanhood, 1990s drag royalty, and a voyeuristic look at life before the pandemic

HOLY by Donna Ferrato, published by powerHouse Books

“I started making HOLY four years ago, because I was so distraught with the election of Donald Trump,” Donna Ferrato told AnOther of her rage-fuelled and redemptive new book HOLY, which brings together 50 years of photography from the frontline of women’s rights. “What I tried to do with this book was take the stories of all the women who’d made the greatest impression on me since I was a teenager and put their stories and their photographs together. It became like a journey – a woman’s journey.”

What She Said by Deanna Templeton, published by MACK

What does it mean to be a teenage girl? Deanna Templeton’s tender new MACK-published book What She Said ponders this very question, reflecting on the universality of girlhood through candid portraits of young women from around the world, which are spliced together with the American image-maker’s own soul-baring teenage diary entries. “What I would want to say to other people is just, give yourself a break, don’t be so hard on yourself,” Templeton told AnOther of the book’s nurturing message last month.

Lifelines by Eric Rhein, published by Institute 193

Eric Rhein’s new book Lifelines is a deeply personal document of the New York-based artist’s journey with HIV and Aids. Chronicling the lives of friends, comrades, lovers, and peers through soft, contemplative portraiture, the powerful book covers the “full arc” of Rhein’s years with the illness – from diagnosis to a “‘return to life’ via the 1996 availability of the protease inhibitors”.

08.14-10.19 by Rosie Marks, published by DoBeDo

Rosie Marks’ playful new book began with some 80,000 iPhone-shot images, which the photographer painstakingly whittled down to form 08.14-10.19. Capturing a sprawl of real people’s lives – on the undergrounds, streets, and beaches of the world – in the years before the pandemic, Marks’ voyeuristic title urges us to see the beauty in the everyday. “I find it therapeutic seeing and documenting people at their most free,” Marks told AnOther this week

Flowers and Fruits by Lin Zhipeng, published by T&M Projects

Beijing-based photographer Lin Zhipeng (aka No.223) has been documenting Chinese youth culture for over 15 years. His recently re-published book Flowers and Fruits captures a cinematic array of beautiful, playful and solitary moments in the lives of his friends over the past decade and a half. “Flowers and fruits are always the elements in my works,” he told AnOther last month. “They are beautiful, sexy, colourful, but easily gone, like our life and our young age.”

The Drag Explosion by Linda Simpson, published by Domain Books

Self-proclaimed ‘drag documentarian’ Linda Simpson spent the 1980s and 90s rubbing shoulders with underground icons such as Lady Bunny, RuPaul, and Leigh Bowery, in legendary New York clubs like Limelight. Now, Simpson’s vibrant photographs from this era are published in her debut photo book, The Drag Explosion, which pays ode to the pioneering personalities who paved the way for today’s ‘drag renaissance’.

Palm Angels S/S21, published by Rizzoli 

Over the course of the last year, fashion brands have had to think of creative new ways to share their collections in the place of in-person runway shows. LA-based label Palm Angels is no different, this month releasing a book zine with Rizzoli to celebrate it’s Spring/Summer 2021 outing, which explores the idea of “creative chaos” through escapist photography by the likes of David Sims, Rosie Marks and Lea Colombo, Javier Calleja, and more.