Bruce Davidson. Outside Inside © Allison V. Smith
Michal Chelbin The Black Eye © Allison V. Smith
Gus Van Sant One Step Big Shot & Daniel Gordon Flying Pictures© Allison V. Smith
Jim Marshall Proof© Allison V. Smith
Inspired a recent tweet about an Eggleston book that sits on my wish list & a request from my uncle for a favorite photo book list, I decided to do a small book report of my favorite photo books from this year.
In no particular order:
1. Outside Inside, Bruce Davidson
This heavy three-volume box set of 800 photographs is almost too beautiful to open. However, inside are Davidson's most famous images from his stories that he committed to for so long, including East 100th Street, the Brooklyn Gang. I'm a big fan so I'm especially thrilled that my first edition copy is signed!
2. One Step Big Shot, Gus Van Sant
All of the photos printed in this gorgeous orange Nazraeli book are printed true to the Big Shot size. The Big Shot, is one of my favorite Polaroid cameras in my collection and is simply a one step process. The portraits are simple, head shots from Van Sant's movie casting. That's all.
3. The Black Eye, Michal Chelbin
Twin Palms Publishing printed this haunting book of portraits of young wrestlers from the Ukraine and Russia. It's not for everyone, but if you enjoyed Chelbin's book Strangely Familiar , portraits of contortionists, dwarves & ballroom dancers, then add this one to your collection as well. I love a simple but complicated portrait. Chelbin has nailed it.
4. Flying Pictures, Daniel Gordon
I briefly mentioned this book earlier this year and it's still one of my favorites.This quirky, funny & fantastic book is filled with portraits of leotard-clad Gordon flying through the air. He is more often than not off in the distance but quickly identified. I first saw Gordon's photos at Angrstrom Gallery in Dallas 10 years ago & was thrilled to see his work so beautifully published!
5. Proof, Jim Marshall
This was a birthday gift this year, to myself. I am a long-time fan of Jim Marshall's. This book pairs his classic rock and roll photography next to the contact sheet from where it came. This book gives the reader an opportunity to watch the moment develop before the great photographer's eyes. Cool.