Ten of the Most Desirable Photo Books to Buy This Month

Pin It
MKW 109_Morgane (2010)
Morgane, 2010© 2021 Mona Kuhn

From dreamy nude portraits to immersive documentary photography, we round up the most exciting releases of the last few weeks

Street Portraits by Dawoud Bey, published by MACK

Dawoud Bey offers a radical reclamation of Black American history in this strikingly stylish black and white portrait series. The images were taken in various different US cities between 1988 and 1991, with the photographer asking a cross-section of the local community to pose for his tripod-mounted camera. The results are complex, intimate and timeless – a celebration of “self-presentation and performance in the streets of the urban environment.”

Jack Davison: Photographs (Annotated Artists Edition) by Jack Davison, published by Loose Joints

Jack Davison’s debut monograph, Photographs, first hit shelves in 2019, and has since sold through two print runs. To celebrate its third printing, Davison has invited 32 artists – both emerging and established – to share their interpretations of his work. The result is a kaleidoscope of shapes, scribbles and collage, ranging from playful annotated scribbles to extravagant, chopped-up reimaginings.

Steel Town by Stephen Shore, published by MACK

In 1977, photographer Stephen Shore took a trip through the heart of the American rust belt, travelling across New York state, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Once prosperous areas, they were then on the brink of major industrial decline, with factories closing, incomes shrinking and high streets struggling. 40 years later, and these images seem eerily prescient – a warning of the socio-economic catastrophe that would ravage and split the country in the following decades.

Mona Kuhn: Works by Mona Kuhn, published by Thames & Hudson

Brazilian photographer Mona Kuhn has a dreamy, distinctive approach to the nude. Rather than documenting the naked body as an object, her goal is to be more abstract – creating images that are obscure, otherworldly and infused with emotion. “My best work starts when [the subject] forgets they are naked,” she told AnOther last month. “We enter a parallel reality, something that is lifted from the everyday, a quiet moment that is floating there.”

How to Dance the Waltz by Michal Chelbin, published by Damiani

Michal Chelbin meets the world’s most sartorially striking students in her new book, How to Dance the Waltz. In a quest to understand adolescent style and identity, the Israeli photographer takes us into the matador schools of Seville, the military academies of Ukraine and the chintzy-glam prom nights of Kiev. “Uniforms are symbolic of the adult world,” Chelbin told AnOther. “I’m fascinated by the tension between this outer world and the inner lives of children. It’s with the camera that I’m trying to uncover a certain truth.”

Rive Droite Editions Purienne by Henrik Purienne

Henrik Purienne – a photographer known for his unsettling, tongue-in-cheek eroticism – teamed up with Saint Laurent last month for a sensual new publication. The book, titled Rive Droite Editions Purienne, shares the fashion house’s most recent designs through a series of erotically charged black and white photographs, all shot by the South African image-maker.

Agua by Denisse Ariana Pérez, published by Guest Editions

“I’m not interested in capturing reality just as it is,” said photographer Denisse Ariana Pérez last month. “I want to bring an element of fantasy into it.” This mystical approach shines through in the Caribbean image-maker’s new book Agua, which explores the ways humans interact with water. The photographs were taken in Uganda, Senegal and Denmark – an “aquatic journey” capturing “different types of water, people, and hues.”

Love Is Why by Ibrahem Hasan

Ibrahem Hasan’s experimental storybook, Love Is Why, wants to uplift Black voices in America. It is an emotive, cross-country collaborative project, containing work from both Hasan and contemporary writers and artists he admires. After it was released last month, 100 per cent of the book’s proceeds went towards laptops for the Brooklyn Democracy Academy – a school for “over-age and under-credited” students in New York.

She Is Warm by Iringó Demeter, published by Libraryman

Iringo Demeter’s faceless nudes are liberated from the constraints of beauty politics. The Transylvania-born photographer’s portraits are filled with earthly textures, curved frames and folded flesh, morphing human forms into sprawling natural landscapes. “We don’t know anything else except being in this body but most of the time, we don’t give it the attention that it deserves,” she told AnOther last month. “We need to take care of our bodies; they are worthy of all the attention we can give them.”

Cruise Night by Kristin Bedford, published by Damiani

Over the last century, Lowriding has become one of LA’s most diverse and prolific subcultures. The community is mostly made up of Mexican Americans, who have come to use DIY car customisation as a form of “political, cultural and creative self-expression.” In her new book Cruise Night, Kristin Bedford shares five years worth of documentary photography focused on the subculture. “Lowriding is not just a fashion statement,” the photographer said last month. “It‘s about [Mexican-American] history and pride. It’s a way of saying, ‘I'm not going to be discriminated against.‘”