Here are a few of my faves from 2009.
Looking in: Robert Frank’s The Americans: Like any good photographer, I am a big fan of Robert Frank’s The Americans. I have two editions of the 50-year old classic and recently purchased Looking In which documents the book in every way possible. The most breathtaking part of the book is the countless number of Frank’s contact sheets, printed in full with Frank’s own editing marks. Basically, I could stare at those pages for hours. It’s fascinating to see how a real master works.
Asakusa Portraits by Hiroh Kikai: Japanese photographer Hiroh Kikai’s black-and-white street portraits from the Asakusa quarter of Tokyo are as haunting and beautiful as Diane Arbus and simple and striking as Avedon’s American West. Kikai’s portraits span over 30 years and each portrait is more intriguing than the last. I feel very lucky to have a personalized signed copy. (thanks Bonnie&Daniel)
Pyramids by Mike Slack: Polaroid announced last year that they would no longer be producing their famous instant film. This will be Slack’s final book of Polaroids. Slack finds beauty in the overly offbeat and obviously overlooked. I recommend his past two books OK OK OK and Scorpio for the full Slack collection (decorators note: together they look sharp on the bookshelf!)
New Mexico by Lee Friedlander: Friedlander’s latest book of scenes from New Mexico is exquistly printed by Radius Books. The large format black-and-white book is filled with Friedlander’s quirky view of life. Most appear to be shot out of his driver’s side window, way cool.