Sex, Sleaze and Vintage Glamour: The Photo Books to Buy This Autumn

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Adut Akech, Family Values, Vogue US, December 2020
Adut Akech, Family Values, Vogue US, December 2020Photography by Nadine Ijewere

From the roller discos of the 1970s to the streets of 1990s Japan, we round up the season’s most exciting art and photography releases

Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, published by IDEA

Transporting you to 1979, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace comprises electrifying images of the short-lived, long-loved Los Angeles roller disco, which was a favourite hangout of superstars like Laura Dern, Jane Fonda, Cher and Nile Rodgers. “Flipper’s was a place where everybody felt safe – everybody was family and everybody was included, no matter where they were from,” Liberty Ross, the book’s editor and daughter of Flipper’s founders Ian and Bunty Ross, tells AnOther

Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves, published by Prestel

Nadine Ijewere’s breathtaking debut monograph compiles her most compelling work to date – from boundary breaking editorials for leading magazines and brands, to portraits of locals taken in Jamaica and Lagos. Celebrating Black beauty, Ijewere’s photography is marked by a vibrancy and joy, and draws upon her roots in Nigeria and Jamaica, as well as her experiences as a Black woman in south east London. “I knew I wanted the book to be full of images, like a celebration – a celebration of different types of beauty and the women I’ve grown up around,” Ijewere told AnOther last month.

Isamu Noguchi, published by Prestel 

Published in tandem with the first major touring European exhibition on the Japanese-American artist in twenty years – currently open at London’s Barbican – this comprehensive tome celebrates the eclectic genius of Isamu Noguchi. Spanning his work in sculpture, ceramics, photography, architecture, design, as well as the artist’s playscapes, gardens and stage sets for modern dance and theatre performance, the Prestel-published book is a deep dive into Noguchi’s creative processes.

Streets of Boston by Mike Smith, published by Stanley Barker Books

Offering an intimate snapshot of the streets of Boston in the 1970s, this gentle new book compiles artist Mike Smith’s black and white portraits of the east coast city’s residents, captured with Smith’s distinctly “inclusive, non-judgmental, and yet direct approach.”

Cherry Blossom by Bruce Gilden, published by Thames and Hudson 

Legendary street photographer Bruce Gilden’s new book Cherry Blossom brings together photographs of Japan in the 1990s, taken over several trips to the country throughout the decade. Shot in Gilden’s uncompromising, close-up style, each photograph suggests a powerful encounter with a story behind it, together forming a fascinating and unique portrait of the streets of Japan.

Eikoh Hosoe by Eikoh Hosoe, published by MACK

For over six decades, Eikoh Hosoe has been a pioneering force in Japanese photography – dabbling in a variety of subjects and styles, and rejecting the medium’s more conventional practices. In this sprawling MACK-published survey, we see the full magnitude of the image-maker’s career, from his most influential photographic series to his lesser-known collaborations (Hosoe would often work with Japan’s leading writers, critics, dancers and artists, including Yayoi Kusama). As well as being a tribute to the photographer, it also offers a broader glimpse into Japan’s post-war, avant-garde creative scene.

 DADDY “Dreams” Issue, self-published

The premise of DADDY zine is simple: to create “inclusive, intersectional and sexy content” and champion diversity. The Black-owned, Berlin-based publication was founded by Kemi Fatoba and Joe Von Hutch earlier this year, after the pair grew frustrated by the German city’s “super progressive” reputation. “There is a lot of casual sexism, racism and homophobia coming from people of all ages, but I was particularly shocked to see it coming from young people,” Fatoba told AnOther in February. “That is how the idea of starting DADDY formed.” The zine’s latest issue, available now, centres around the theme of “Dreams”, asking the central question: who can afford to dream?

Paparazzi by Mazaccio & Drowilal, published by RVB

French artists Elise Mazac and Robert Drowilal – also known as Mazaccio & Drowilal – explore the murky world of late noughties celebrity culture in their latest release. The book, called Paparazzi, repurposes stolen paparazzi images, rearranging them into surreal collages that highlight both the absurdity and sleaze of candid celebrity photography. According to the artists, the goal is to blur the boundaries between “natural and artificial”, and leave viewers balancing “on the verge of disgust and pleasure.”

Helmut Newton. Legacy by Helmut Newton, published by Taschen

The photography of Helmut Newton needs no introduction. The legendary image-maker created erotic, elegant and visually captivating work for over five decades, reaching millions through some of the world’s most acclaimed fashion publications. This new book, published by Taschen, shines a light on Newton’s incredible legacy, showcasing his most famous photographic highlights, as well as rare, unseen images. 

Deana Lawson by Deana Lawson, Peter Eleey and Eva Respin, published by MACK

Enigmatic photographer Deana Lawson has spent 15 years challenging traditional representations of Black identity. Her images – which sway between nudes, family albums, studio portraiture and found images – are created in collaboration with her subjects, encouraging a deeper understanding around the history of Black “life, love, sexuality, family, and spiritual beliefs”. This release, published by MACK, is the first scholarly publication on Lawson’s work, and comes with multiple essays from leading academics, artists, curators and writers.