26 posts categorized "Books"

November 30, 2010

Great New Photobook #2 - Conditions by Andres Marroquin Winkleman

Great New Photobook #2 - Conditions, (2010) by photographer Andres Marroquin Winkleman.

Well.. this book might be the best kept secret of the 2010 photobook publishing world.

Hardcover, Left & Right Binding
128 pages, 56 full color plates
26x21cm (10.2x8.2in)
offset printed
edition size: 300

Winklemann_Conditions02 This is the very first amazingg project of the newbie emerging photo art book publisher Meier und Müller.



Yes...  that was.. 

Meier und Müller a new photobook publisher, and you thought this business was DOA.  (We guess, the company name, it's like "Smith and Jones" but in German.. a la.. photobooks for the common man. We can't wait to see what they do next.)

Winkleman_Conditions3 Anyway.. this new publisher is the brainchild of Photographer Andres Marroquin Winkleman and from the Godfather of the photo blog world.. Dr. Jorg M. Colberg..aka.. Conscientious.com. And all we at MAO have to say.. it's one super damn impressive first attempt. Congrats Gentleman!

Astutely edited by renown photographer Adam Bartos, Conditions is actually not just one nice photobook, it's more like 2 brilliant photobooks in one smart and thoughtful designed package. We found this presentation both totally fresh and innovative, plus we have never seen such a cool, very Japanese Provoke inspired Belly band included with this package! I bet, you'll find yourself flipping through these books so many times because each reading tells a slightly different story. 

But, the nifty design is not just for design sake. In this photobook's case the physical exterior packaging harmoniously supports the interior image meanings and concepts. Making for a melodious photographic project.

Well.. first off, before I go one gushing anymore, to understand what the hell MAO is talking about, you just have to see how special this book is. So check out this cute video....

"Conditions", Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann from Meier und Müller on Vimeo.

Pretty Cool? Right?? Who would have thought a bunch of rigid well studied Germans could have pulled this off! So Move Over Little Brown Mushroom Books.. there's a new smarter german kid in town!

Winkleman's images explore the concepts of "us" and "them", and they truly show the reader, 2 fractions of a place, and how people can co-inhabit a community but living parallel lives. This is strongly explored by flipping through both sides of this dual book. It allows the reader to create numerous diptychs, and hence every reading tells a slightly different story, just as each individual experience different realities within society.   

So.. Yes.. We enjoyed this photo project, the dark and quiet images even reminded us of work by some of our favorite photographers... Wolfgang Tillmans, Laura Letinsky, and maybe even a little Paul Graham.

So just 2 additional MAO picky thought/suggestions to the publishers, if when they do a second edition..

1. While we liked the informative essay by the Godfather of the photo blog world.. Dr. Jorg M. Colberg. We really would have loved if this book had included a list of photo titles/credits.. cause we're still guessing about some of these images. Which I guess was totally intentional....

2. It could have used a printed title somewhere on the spine of the case. FYI.. Once you put this wonderful little black book on a bookshelf.. you may never find it again!!  It's just a solid black unmarked spine/edge.. so we totally lost this book for a week in our messy NYC loft. OUCH!  

Anyway... Conditions is an edition of only 300 books.. all numbered.. so if you have any interest in this wonderful book.. you better get one very soon!!

 You can order it here.  

It's sure to sell out fast because we herd they make outstanding stocking stuffers.

November 24, 2010

New Great Photobook #1 - Infidel by Tim Hetherington

New Great Photobook #1 - Infidel by Tim Hetherington.

This is one of the best new photobooks we've seen in 2010.

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches

Infidel is an intimate photo essay of a U.S. Army platoon assigned to an outpost in one of the most hostile areas of the Koregal Vallery in Afganastan.

We loved both the Hetherington photos as well as the thoughtful design and production quality of this book. It's been printed in the size and style of an Army Field Manual or maybe even The Bible. It has a thick black plastic cover, with nothing but a tattoo style drawing of the word Infidel.  (Photo #1, Infidel book cover)

Tim_Hetterington_Infidel This is not your typical macho wartime soldier photo essay. The young soldiers in Hetherington's photos look relaxed and almost casual in their hostile environment.

This series comes across surprisingly tender and with a surprising amount of vulnerabilility even while many of these men are sporting huge guns and camouflage uniforms.

The viewer can't help but feel at times these photos seem raw,  sexy, and of course a bit homo erotic. 

Much of this book remined us of the best early work by art photographer Adi Nes...

Infidel_Tim_hetherington_bondingfeature2 (Photo #2, Tim Hetherington, The members of 2nd Platoon "get to know one-another", 2008 )

Throughout the entire book, there are numerous detail photographic images along side drawn images ofthe body tattoos on these soldiers.


We just loved this book, and find ourselves picking it up again and again.

See what you think.. maybe you'll agree with MAO that it's possibly one of the best photobooks of 2010.

More details on the book here.... http://www.chrisboot.com/new_infidel.html

Tim_Hetherington_infidel (Photo #3, Image Credit: Sergeant Elliott Alcantara, Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2008)

About Tim Hetherington
Tim Hetherington was born in Liverpool, UK, and took up photojournalism after studying literature at Oxford University. Awards for his photojournalism include a Hasselblad Foundation Award (2002), World Press Photo of the Year 2007 (for a photograph featured in the Infidel), the Rory Peck Award for TV Features (2008), and an Alfred I duPont Award (2009).  Tim Hetherington is also an acclaimed documentary filmmaker who has reported on conflict and social issues for over ten years. This recent work of platoon soldiers in Afghanistan includes the film Restrepo, co-directed and co-produced with Sebastian Junger, and was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.  Tim is based in New York and is a contributing photographer to Vanity Fair magazine.

November 18, 2010

The Best and Most Useful Books about PhotoBooks!!

The Best Books about PhotoBooks!!

So.. at MAO we got an email the other day asking what the best resources are for collecting photobooks. Sadly.. we accidentally deleted this person's email.. SHIT...OOPS!  So we couldn't answer this person directly. My apologies to that person! 

BUT, Since it's a good topic, we thought it was worthwhile of a full posting filled with our vapid, self serving  studied thoughts on this important topic.

FYI.. We are going to be dedicating the next few blog posts to some new and exciting photobook discoveries.. so stay tuned Photobook geeksAficionados!

OK.. So what are THE BEST books on Collecting Photobooks? Well, Here is MAO's list.. in a totally biased order of importance..

1. Andrew Roth's (Editor)... The Book of 101 Books. The: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Roth_101Photobook Century.

This is the book which set the standard for photobook reference guides. It was the first major collection of photobooks widely published...and it remains the benchmark.

With 2 to 4 pages for each book, the textbook is well researched.. and has put together some of the best minds on the topic of important photography books.

This  is a MUST have for any serious photobook collector. 

FYI.. It was

this reference book has also been largely responsible for increasing the prices ten fold  for any photobook even mentioned inside these pages. 

2. Haselblad.. The Open Book,  Photographs by numerous contributing photographers.
The_Open_bookHasselblad Center, Goteberg, 2005. 423 pp., 404 illustrations, 8x10".

The book was published in conjunction with the Hasselblad Center. Edited by Andrew Roth.

Contributions by Simon Anderson, Ute Eskildsen, Philip Arons, Gerhard Steidl, Robert Frank and Hasse Persson. There was an exhibition that ran from June 17 to September 4, 2005,

"A history of the photographic book from 1878 to 2005."

Sadly we missed this show in 2005!

The list within this text is chronological.

It's a great and thoughtfull collection,


sadly this book has no informative or descriptive text about any of the photobooks, it just has a few pictures and the minimum about each book.

3. PARR I - The Photobook: A History, Vol. 1 [Hardcover] by Martin Parr (Author), Gerry Badger (Author).

Par1This reference book probably includes as many as 200 photobooks.

It's got 9 chapters, and really covers a full range of the best historical photography books.

Many were little known or infrequently seen titles..but now frequently show up at book fairs and auctions with big price tags.

Rumors always circle that these opportunistic authors/editors bought up as many as possible of these photobooks before they published this text book. Hmm.... MAO wonders how this effected which photobook got included?

All suspicions aside, this is a well researched text book, with a lot of detailed information about each of the photobooks included.

Most of you will know Martin Parr..as an accomplished  British color photographer, "some people" would even say Martian Parr is a better scholar/bookmaker than a photographer.

 MAO's not 100% sure..but we've heard several people say this. You be the judge.

This one is A must for any photobook collector.

Note: Copies of this textbook are available on amazon.... 2nd or 3rd editions!

4. Aperture Foundation's Japanese Photobooks of the 1960 - 1980's by

Aperture_japanesebookRYUICHI KANEKO(essay) is a curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and an expert on Japanese photography and Japanese photobooks.

IVAN VARTANIAN (editor and essays) anthologized and translated Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers (Aperture, 2006).

This is probably the best book on photobooks we've ever seen.

The content is great, it's well published, and very deeply researched. Thsi book truely makes the world of Japanese photography accessible to people who don't speak Japanese! 

So it would have been number 1 in our list, but since it is just 100% japanese photobook focused..we have to put it number 4.

5. AUER - 802 Photobooks from the M + M Auer Collection.

Auer_photobookThis is a private collection of photobooks..

aka This is someone putting it all out there for everyone to see drool over!

 these 802 books are listed by dates, and there is almost no additional information about each of the ones included.

You can read more about this small gem of a book here..from blogger 5B4

I believe this was self published..

But, FYI

you can buy a copy directly here.


6. George Eastman Library - Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library

EastmanHouse_book at The George Eastman House, Rochester [Hardcover]

By Manfred Heiting (Editor), Sheila Foster (Editor), Rachel Stuhlman (Editor), Saskia Asse (Contributor)

So this is also a very large format book...288 pages. This one is very well researched with lots of text to describe each of the books.

But, these are mostly very historical photobooks, most are pre-1960.. about 250 books are listed. Many of these books are totally unknown to modern photobook collecting people. Mostly cause these are OLD RARE books..think VERY expensive and impossible to find, except for a few important libraries around the world.

But this text book brings together several important scholars, and lots of color pictures of the books. So, you'll almost feel like you've to the Eastman House! 

This textbook is also available...on Amazon..I'd guess not too many people have seen this book of photobooks.

7. PARR II - The Photobook: A History - Volume 2 [Hardcover] Martin Parr (Author), Gerry Badger (Author)

Par2Well.. this one is a much more subjective book of more current photobooks.

There are some real gems in here.. plus some you'll scratch you head as to why they were included.

It's also filled with great information about the

history of the photobook.

So very useful.. but the books in here are not as collectible.

Well... This reference book is probably also a must have..

but.. hey...

You be the judge.

There are rumors that PAR III is soon to be in bookstores!

8. Bertolotti - Books of Nudes [Hardcover] Alessandro Bertolotti  (Author), Abrams, Dec 2007.

BertolottiThis is a large well illustrated book of photobooks which only focus on the nude image.

We find it well researched, and probably under known by the photography book collecting world.

This large book reviews work covering the 20th century published nude including erotic photography books from a predominately European perspective.

The individual books are described and photos of the open books are provided across the 280 pages. There is some real historical value here. It's one well worth checking out.


So..that is the MAO Top 8 Books on Photobooks. If you have any others you'd suggest..please let us know!


October 07, 2010

George Eastman House.. Auction... Ends.. Today and Tomorrow!

George Eastman House 2010 Benefit Auction (Story contributed by Alvina Lopez, yes.. MAO now accepts story submissions!)


The George Eastman House, home of the International Museum of Photography and Film, is currently holding its 2010 Benefit Auction, the first since 1977. The Auction is scheduled to run from Sept. 27 though Oct. 7, which live viewings at Sotheby's New York from Oct. 1 through Oct. 4. While the viewings may have past, interested collectors, individuals, dealers, and other parties can still participate in the online auction, held at iGavelAuctions.com. The auction is open to any interested party and because there is no reserve on the items, individuals can place bids from several hundred to several thousands of dollars.


Here is the auction link.. you can bid online now



Proceeds from the auction will be used to help the Eastman House maintain its four million piece collection, which includes photography and camera equipment, photographs, motion pictures, and other related literature. The funds will also help the House continue research and educational programs, as well as maintain the National Historic Landmark house and surrounding gardens.


(Photo by Lyon, Danny,Portrait of Nancy,1990, currently bid at $1,200.00 ...join the bid here... )


The idea for the benefit was born nearly two years ago and auction committee has taken great pains to amass a collection worthy of the George Eastman name. A call for donated auction items was placed to museum members, collectors, dealers, photographers, film makers, and community members. The donations began pouring in from over 20 countries, including Germany, Israel, Australia, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, and the Netherland, as well as from across the United States. In total, the Eastman House collected over 300 photographs from almost every photographic genre and movement, rare books, and cameras for the 2010 Benefit Auction.


The George Eastman House is the oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives in the world. The home was built by George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, in 1905 and open to the public in 1949. Today, the museum is a leader in film preservation and photograph conservation and is a registered National Historic Landmark.


For more information on this event or the museum, visit the George Eastman House website at www.eastmanhouse.org, or the online auction website, www.iGavelAuction.com.



This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online colleges .  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com. 

December 01, 2009

An Exciting Rare PhotoBook Auction... Just Started Up!

An Exciting Rare PhotoBook Auction... Just Started Up! Check this out!

Danny_Lyon_Bikeriders For those readers of this site... it's no surprise MAO is an crazed photobook collector.

So much so, we are almost scared to tell anyone about this opportunity.. but iGavel  is starting to do auctions of Rare Photobooks!

The ever resourceful Dan Cooney almost too nice to be an art photography dealer, has just posted a great list of very hard to find, mostly 1st edition photobooks.

We checked them all out this weekend.. and we'd have to say..some of these book made us actually drool.


MAO is crazy,and pathetic an obsessed collector of rare photobooks, and this was an impressive line up for a first attempt book auction.

Some of the true highlights are..

  1. 1st edition Danny Lyon, The Bikeriders from 1968. (Pictured here)
  2. Nobuyoshi Araki, Tokyo Lucky Hole, First Edition, 1990
  3. Andreas Gursky 1994 - 1998, Signed
  4. Signed copies of Richard Avedon books.. The American West, and a signed copy of his An Auto-Biography 1993.
  5. 3 Lewis Baltz books.
  6. William Eggleston's Guide, Signed First Edition, from 1976.
  7. Henri Cartier Bresson, The Decisive Moment, Signed!
  8. Lary Clark's Punk Picaso, and a signed limited edition copy of his Tulsa...

and Yes.. the list of rare books goes on and on.. Cindy Sherman, Bruce Davidson, Nan Goldin, Herb Ritts, Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind, Ed Ruscha, and a few Bruce Weber books... Plus there's

even a Limited edition with a print by Bernd and Hilla Becher.

OK.. enough..there's too many to choose from.. MAO is almost broke already in a whirl wind just thinking about these coming up for auction. 85 Book lots.. all super hard to find.

Anyway.. if you're looking to add a few important books to your photobook library.. this seems like an amazing chance to pick up some real goodies.

OH.. and if anyone was still wondering what to get MAO for Christmas... hint..or even hint... cause MAO has been a very good boy this year!!

PS...be sure to sell Dan..MAO sent you.. and he'll give you the special MAO reader discount assistance.

iGavel Rare PhotoBook Auction.. Bids are starting already..don't miss it.

October 15, 2009

Collecting Photobooks! Story in this Weekends London Financial Times

So MAO's guess is most smart  photo obsessed people missed this great story about collecting important Photobook in this weekends London Financial Times.

Yes.. for those who don't know.. even in these difficult art times.. Collecting Important Photobooks is now super Hot Hot Hot! Actually so hot.. even the newly  opened NY Branch of Bloomsbury Auction House managed to get some serious interest in the photobook part of their recent disastrous photo auction.  Bloomsbury only sold 17.8% of the Photos in their auction, OUCH!...yes..only 35 lots sold out of 197 photo lots..Yikes!  60 of their 95 Photobook lots sold, which was 63.2%. But, you can read more about this Bloomsbury Photographic Auction from the often long winded throughly thoughtful DLK Collection Blog

The FT story interestingly points out, with the publication of the new AMAZING Aperture, must have, Aperture_Japanese_Photobook_reference reference book, Japanese Photobooks of the 1960's and 70's by Ryuichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian, rare Japanese Photobook prices have jumped significantly.  It's not a surprise, since most American art collectors don't read Japanese, a detailed reference book like this was very necessary to make collecting Important Japanese photobooks understandable. This reference book along with the power fo the internet (a la Ebay!) make it now economically possible for almost any collector to get involved. (Photo #1, The cover of Aperture's Japanese Photobooks fo the 1960's and 70's)

Note, if you don't know already.. one of THE very best sources for important Japanese photobooks in the world is Harpers Book in East HamptonNY.  Harper has done an impressive amount of research on historic photobooks, but also has an incredible eye, and an inventory so huge, MAO frequently gets taken to the cleaners  lost for hours wondering through his rare photobook selection.

Well.. anyway.. the story in the FT was really great, and well worth a read if you're at all interested in photography or art books. 

So here's the entire story from the Sat October 10th FT... 


Worth a shot

By Claire Holland

Published: October 9 2009 15:14 | Last updated: October 9 2009 15:14

The market for fine photographic prints has exploded over the past decade, yet the photobook (as it has come to be known) was, until recently, relegated to the sidelines by dealers and collectors alike. But as photography has become more valued and collected, photobooks have slowly come to be recognised as desirable (and collectable) in their own right and the market is burgeoning, according to Laura Noble, director of the Diemar Noble Photography Gallery. “In the mid-1990s one could have picked up a first edition of Bill Brandt’s A Night in Londonfor £20”, remembers her co-director Michael Diemar. “A copy of the same book sold recently at Christie’s for £4,800.”

So what has prompted this once-forgotten art form to be brought back into view? As vintage prints have become scarce and contemporary photography prohibitively expensive, photobooks may seem a more accessible and affordable way of collecting photography. The publication of The Photobook: A History by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger and Andrew Roth’s 101 Books (itself now rare and worth around £1,000) helped to ignite the current interest in the genre. For Parr, an obsessive collector who admits to owning tens of thousands of titles, the shift in the market was inevitable. “Photobooks were previously unrecognised and therefore undervalued,” he says.

The history of photography is rooted in books. Until the mid-20th century, photographers were far more likely to see their work between covers than on a gallery wall. Indeed, the first great artistic statement in the medium was grandly presented in book form. Published in 1844, William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, made up of 24 original prints, heralded the invention of the calotype – the first negative-positive photography. Many of the 19th-century prints for which collectors and museums are now paying hefty sums come from such albums, which have been broken up.

For many photographers the photobook is a source for photographic ideas – who’s doing what, what’s new – and trends spread rapidly from the US and Europe to Japan and back again.

“For contemporary photographers the photobook is still an important influence,” agrees curator Nina Poppe. When I met her earlier this year at Amsterdam’s Foam photography gallery, she was hanging Marks of Honour, a show of work by 13 photographers who pay homage to a photobook they found inspiring. Among the most compelling in the collection – which will be auctioned in Paris next month – are American photographer Michael Light’s tribute to Ansel Adams’ Yosemite and the Range of Light, in which Light has made precise cutouts following the lines of Adams’ monumental landscapes and inserted his own prints of LA night scenes into the spaces, and Japanese Onaka Koji’s thoughtfully constructed celebration of Daido Moriyama’s Tales of Tohno, which includes five prints and a contact sheet housed in a box handmade by Koji from wood of the forests where Moriyama shot his original 1976 work.

Japanese photobooks distinguish themselves by their attention to detail. The layout, binding, paper, printing, dustwrapper, obi(the bellyband) and the outer case (the so-called soto-bako or okuribako) are all meticulously crafted. After 1960, the photography scene in Japan changed dramatically and the photobook – with its ability to help create a narrative and rhythm – overtook the print as the most popular mode of artistic statement for the Japanese photographer.

This important and prolific period is examined in Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s published by the Aperture Foundation next month.

There has been a strong rise in demand for Japanese photobooks, and prices have doubled or tripled in the past three to four years. “Curiously, the Japanese photobook market really didn’t exist until western collectors started to show interest,” says Titus Boeder of Maggs Books. “When I started buying them in Japan eight years ago, prices were lower than the original retail cost. They weren’t collected in Japan.”

Elsewhere, in the US and Europe, the market for good quality photobooks shows little sign of slowing down, with demand particularly high for those inscribed by the artist or an important previous owner. Sven Becker, book specialist at Christie’s, recently auctioned a copy of William Klein’s Tokyothat once belonged to William Eggleston, for a lofty £2750. Signed by Klein, and with Eggleston’s ownership signature dated January 1969, it’s a perfect example of the type of books that are attracting the attention of collectors with discerning tastes and deep pockets.

Prices for similar books reached unprecedented levels earlier this year at New York’s Swann Galleries. A signed copy of Nobuyoshi Araki’s ABCDand a first edition of Ed Ruscha’s Various Small Fires and Milk, inscribed by Ruscha to Andy Warhol, achieved US$10,800 and US$15,600 respectively. This autumn Swann is offering a signed deluxe edition of Lucas Samaras’s Autointerview, Autobiography, Autopolaroid, issued with a Polaroid (estimate $2500-$3500), and a signed first edition of Helmut Newton’s gigantic Sumo, weighing in at nearly 70 pounds and supplied with its own Philippe Starck-designed chrome stand (estimate $5,000-$7,500).

Rare art book specialists Sims Reed recently showed some fine examples at the London Art Book Fair, including a first edition of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s exquisite Time Exposed(£12,000) and John Baldessari’s Fable: A Sentence of Thirteen Parts (£3,500). But it is not necessary to shell out vast sums of money to start building an impressive (and one day possibly quite valuable) library.

Ebay is a thriving market place for rare books and there are bargains to be had. The Photographers’ Gallery regularly promotes limited editions of new titles, often signed by the artist. Nazraeli Press offer very reasonably priced special editions and limited availability titles on their website. Gems include Masao Yamamoto’s A Box of Ku($200) and Joseph Mills’ wonderfully surreal photomontages in The Loves of Poets($250). Photography specialists Schaden offer recommendations, signed copies and a research service.

Parr’s advice is simple: “Buy what you like,” he says. And, if you buy books you genuinely like, it doesn’t matter if they increase in value or not. Good taste is rewarded, and a little knowledge can go a long way in identifying important books. “A few years ago a collector friend of mine went to a flea market in Paris and picked up Man Ray’s Electricité for €50,” says Noble. “The auction value? £20,000.” Who knows, you may just get that lucky.



Swann Galleries’ Photographic Literature sale takes place in New York on October 22 www.swanngalleries.com
Marks of Honour 2008will be auctioned at Pierre Bergé & Associés, Paris, on November 25 and will be on show at the auction house during Paris Photo Festival the preceding week www.marksofhonour.com
Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s is published by Aperture in November

July 31, 2009

Congrats to Ariana Page Russell on her New Book & Limited Edition!

MAO's friends over at DeCode Books have been very busy this summer, with lots of new great books.

Ariana_russell_cover_dressing But there's a special place in our MAO wallet heart for photographer Ariana Page Russell, so we can't be more happy to see this very young artist having her very first book!  Congrats Ariana!

Visit DECODE Books on-line bookstore: decodebooks.com
FYI... Platform Gallery is hosting a book signing party to introduce three new titles 
by Seattle-based publisher DECODE Books by photographers Ariana Page Russell, Bill Jacobson, and Steven Miller
So... If you just happen to be stuck in Seattle.. you can join them at the gallery to celebrate these new monographs, Saturday, August 8, from 4 to 6PM
Dressing by Ariana Page Russell
Ariana Page Russell turns to her own skin as both a canvas and as a source of adornments. “The power of a blush, an ephemeral and uncontrollable response revealing internal sentiment, becomes the fashion of skin. I have sensitive skin that easily flushes. In Dressing, I use the imagery of this temporary change as my medium via collages made from photographs of my skin. These collages show shades of sensitivity in reds and pinks made into patterns, then scanned and printed as temporary tattoos. I place the skin tattoos back on skin, adorning myself with a longer lasting, intentional Ariana_page_russell_pharaoh blush. Rather than being frustrated by my skin’s transparency, I claim it by dressing up in the crimson hues that reveal my vulnerability.” Instead of covering up her skin condition, Russell embraces the changes her skin makes, exploring the concepts of fashion and beauty: “These tattoos become and intimate fashion as their own sort of clothing.... I am investigating where one surface ends and another begins, the bloom of adornment, and how shifting exteriors reveal as they conceal.”

5 x 7 inches
11 four-color plates
24 pages, hardcover
1 original tipped-in photograph

Signature Series books are limited to 500 signed and numbered copies. Each contain one original tipped-in photograph.

ISBN: 978-0-9793373-5-2

$40 USD

Plus..there's also a super cheap.. and terrific Limited Edition that comes with this crazy sexy print!

Details :   A Limited edition archival pigment print, signed and numbered, with copy of Dressing.

Photo #2, Pharaoh (self portrait), 2009

Sheet size: 20 x 16 in.
Image size: 19 x 13 in.
Edition of 20, signed and numbered.

Special Prepublication Price:
$500 USD until 8.8.09
$600 USD after 8.8.09

More Details here... http://www.decodebooks.com/russell_collectors.html

OH.. and be sure to tell them over at Decode Books, that MAO sent you... and they'll give you the huge "Special MAO Fan Club Discount"

May 05, 2009

Photographers Richard Renaldi, and Doug DuBois, talk with Lesley A. Martin

Richard_renaldi_Fall_river_Boys Photographers Richard Renaldi, and Doug DuBois, talk with Lesley A Martin at the Affordable Art Fair this week!

This week starts the Afordable Art Fair. It's a fair oriented toward reasonably priced contemporary art, which in this shitty economy, is the only art most people can hope to own. The fair tends to include lots of think inexpensive new young emerging artists, so it's always been a fun place to find that next hot rising star. FYI, the SVA will have a booth again, showing some of their most recent MFA graduates work. This booth of 9 SVA students is sure to be one of the AAF high points.

AAF Where:
7 West 34th Street (b/w 5th & 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
Fair Hours:

Thursday, May 7th 12:00PM - 6:00PM

Friday, May 8th 12:00PM - 8:00PM

Saturday, May 9th 12:00PM - 8:00PM

Sunday, May 10th 12:00PM - 5:00PM

The fair is also hosting a series of free lectures, but the one which caught our eye, was a talk between Aperture Photobook publisher giant, Lesley A. Martin, with 2 great contemporary art photographers.

Lesley A. Martin, is the driving force behind the highest quality photobook being produced today. As Editor at Aperture books, she is one of the most influential people in the Art Photography world. Her writing has been published in Aperture, American Photo, DoubleTake, and Interiors magazine, among other publications. She is the editor of over forty books on photography, including Reflex: A Vik Muniz Primer; and Model American: Katy Grannan.

Richard_renaldi_Derrek_2004 Also, for those of you who've seen Richard Renaldi's photography, you'll know he's one of the most renown young portrait photographers working today.  His newest photobook, Fall River Boys, recently published by Charles Lane Press, is a true work of art. 

(Photo #1, Richard Renaldi, "Raymond and Jeffrey, 2002" from Fall River Boys) 

In the rich B&W tradition of Walker Evans, and Dorothea Lang, Richard has crafted a thoughtful, year 2000, portrait of a common US dreary industrial suburban town with surprising luscious beauty. He's found, in this most unexpected place, a portrayal of hope, and strength within the young men of inner core America during these changing economic times. MAO thinks, you'll find this new book a total necessity for any serious photobook collection.  Hopefully Richard will be signing (and possibly selling) copies of his newest book after the panel talk.  You can also find copies of Fall River Boys here... or just go to www.charleslanepress.com

(Photo #2, Richard Renaldi,  "Derrek 2004" from Fall River Boys) 

FYI.. For those photo art collectors looking for an amazing bargain, there's one of Richard Renaldi's photos now for sale at the Humble Arts Foundation for just $750 in an edition of only 5, and it comes with a signed copy of the book as well! Now, How Sweet is that ?

Photographer, Doug DuBois also has a new book out by Aperture.  MAO has actually not seen this book yet.. but it looks very promising. The book, Doug DuBois : All the Days And Nights is available directly from Aperutre.  Hopefully Doug will be signing books after the talk.

Here are the details for the talk by Lesley A. Martin, Richard Renaldi, and Doug DuBois :


Contemporary Portraiture with Doug DuBois and Richard Renaldi
Panel Discussion

Thursday, May 7, 2009
5:00 pm

Affordable Art Fair
20 West 22nd Street, Ste. 1512
New York, New York
(212) 255-2003

Lesley A. Martin, Publisher of Aperture's book program, will present artists Doug DuBois and Richard Renaldi, who will speak about their respective bodies of work and how they fit into the broader context of portraiture in contemporary photography.

Doug DuBois: All the Days and Nights (Aperture, 2009) resonates with emotional immediacy, offering a potent examination of family relations and what it means to subject personal relationships to the unblinking eye of the camera. Doug DuBoisbegan photographing his family in 1984, prior to his father's near-fatal fall from a commuter train and his mother's subsequent breakdown and hospitalizations. More than twenty years later, DuBois's project has developed in remarkable ways. Each photograph is rich with color, nuanced gestures and glances enveloping the viewer in a multivalent, emotionally tense world.

Richard Renaldi is a photographer in search of the brief encounter—that fleeting moment when a stranger opens his life to him and, consequently, to the viewer. His trust in the descriptive and empathic abilities of the camera verges on that of his nineteenth–and early-twentieth-century predecessors. His first monograph, Figure and Ground(Aperture, 2006), presents portraits and landscapes taken from coast to coast, across the United States. They form a collective portrait of a population and nation going through a process of diversification that has already dramatically enlarged the notion of what defines Middle America. In Renaldi's second monograph, Fall River Boys(Charles Lane Press, 2009), an extraordinary body of images—both portraits and landscapes—is gathered for the first time. The resulting photographs, made over the course of nine years, are not brief encounters. Renaldi's quiet gaze considers his subjects with neither judgment nor irony. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of a city where young men grow into manhood surrounded by a landscape of idyllic natural beauty, frayed at the margins by darkened relics of an industrial past.

January 09, 2009

MAO's best photography book list of 2008

MAO's best photography book list of 2008.

Happy New Year my little MAO-ettes! Welcome to 2009!

Fireworks So.. while MAO is doing his best to totally FORGET the financial sit show that has was 2008.

We thought we’d start the new year with one last look back at the worst year in financial history.


What better way to do that walk down memory lane 2008, than with a list of our favorite

photography books.

Now there were actually, way too many good ones to even think about, but these were the top 10.

Ones that MAO keeps finding himself returning to time and time again.


FYI..For the sake of sanity.. we removed all re-editions of previously published books.


THE MAO TOP 10 Photobooks of 2008 (in Alphabetical order by photographer)


1. Working from Memory.  Collected Stories. by William Christenberry. Steidl

2. A Series of Disappointments. by Stephen Gill.  Nobody

3. Invasion 68. Prague by Josef Koudelka. Aperture

4. The Chance is Higher. by Ari Macropoulos, Dashwood Books

5. Library of Dust. by David Maisel. Chronicle Books

6. A Road Trip Journal. by Stephen Shore, Phaidon

7. God Spoiled a Perfect Asshole When He Put Teeth in Yer Mouth. by Dash Snow. Peres Projects

8. The Last Days of W. by Alec Soth.  Little Brown Mushroom

9. America. by Zoe Strauss. Ammo Books

10. Lighter. by Wolfgang Tillmans. Hatje Cantz


Best Multi-Artist Photo Book /or Book Set of 2008


Tinyvices Series. Photography by Kenneth Cappello, Allan Macintyre, Jason Nocito, Robin Schwartz, and Jaimie Warren.  Aperture


One Last Note :

A book not by a photographer, and one MAO is still reading., and reading, and reading. But, it's a book that probably should be on everyone’s Photo Obsessed, Best of 2008 list.  It's by The Johns Hopkins University (MAO’s alma mater) Art History Professor…Michael Fried.

Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before, by Michael Fried, Yale University Press

You can get it here... http://www.strandbooks.com/app/www/p/profile/?isbn=0300136846


So..all in all.. It was a great year for photography and even a better year for photography books.

Oh.. and if you're into this entire list thing.. check out this website, Photoeye, for their best of 2008 lists by some biased self interested  pandering vested more  "Important" photo obsessed people.

And, of course, feel free to rip this MAO list apart   please add your favorites photobooks to our comment section below. all thoughts are always welcome....Thanks!

And to everyone reading.... Good Luck in 2009!


October 24, 2008

An Essential Art Reading List from BOYD LEVEL Art Consulting

MAO hosted a lecture and collection visit last night with The Contemporaries.

Aside from all the occasional recession gallows humor, the night was extremely up beat with lots of enthusiasm for collecting Contemporary art.

Yes.. My little MAO-ettes, some crazy obsessive art addicted people are indeed looking at this great art crash of 2008 "slow down" as an opportunity to Collect Art!!

So, we were also fortunate enough to have a visionary presentation by 2 of the art world's most thoughtful consultants.. M. Franklin Boyd, and Jonathan T. D. Neil. Of BOYD LEVEL Art Consulting. You guys Rock!


One of the most interesting parts of their presentation was a list of readings, as Jonathan described:


Some Essential Histories of the Present:

       A highly selective and perhaps arbitrary list of articles, books, and collected writing that are nonetheless essential to understanding the trajectory and claims of much contemporary art.  These are by no means easy reads, but if studied, they will render a deeper understanding of contemporary art then any broad survey.


  1. Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics (1998)

  2. Douglas Crimp, “Pictures” (1979)

  3. Robert Smithson, The Collected Writings, ed Flam (1996)

  4. David Joselit, Feedback: Television Against Democracy (2007)

  5. Donald Judd, “Specific Objects” (1965)

  6. Rosalind Krauss, A Voyage on the North Sea (1999)

  7. Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another (2004)

  8. Robert Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily (1993)

  9. Seth Price, "Dispersion" (2002)

A Big MAO Thank You goes out to both, Franklyn and Jonathan for being so candid with their thoughts and advise to The Contemporaries group, you guys are the best!!

P.S. We all particularly liked that part about reading the MAO blog every week...but then again maybe you were just pandering a bit preaching to the choir...

August 22, 2008

Did you know.. AMAZON bought AbeBooks.com ?

So. we're not sure how we missed this story.. but today we found out that our favorite rare book website..got bought by www.AMAZON.com a few weeks ago.

We've used and loved the Victoria, British Columbia based www.abebooks.com for years.

By the way.. ABE stands for "Advanced Book Exchange", which was the initial name of the website.

Thomas_allen_Knockout_06 So it will be interesting to see how the new  monster owner changes the little www.AbeBooks.com.

Here's the story from bloomberg.net

Amazon.com Buys AbeBooks to Offer More Rare Books (Update2)

2008-08-01 20:13:52.340 GMT

By Michael J. Moore

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc., the world's largest Internet retailer, agreed to purchase AbeBooks to expand its selection of rare books.

AbeBooks lists used, rare and out-of-print volumes for independent booksellers, Amazon.com said today in a statement without specifying the value of the transaction. The deal should be completed by the end of 2008, the Seattle-based company said.

Amazon.com, which got its start selling primarily books on the Internet, has been expanding into new areas. It bought online sewing-supplies retailer Fabric.com in June and purchased Audible Inc., which sells audio versions of books and newspapers, in March. Talk Market, a shopping channel, said Amazon.com made an equity investment in the company in May.

Amazon.com fell 59 cents to $75.75 at 4:10 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The shares have fallen 18 percent this year.

For Related News:

Stories about Amazon: AMZN US CN

--Editors: Andrea Snyder, Pete Young

It's been  traggic sad in NYC to see all our favorite small private thoughtful bookshops close..and to see the spread of the huge bland mall-like Barnes and Noble/Starbucks take over.

 (photo by Thomas Allen, Knockout, 2006, 24 x 20, c-print)

Now it's happening on the Internet.


August 15, 2008

Doug Keyes photography book, Collective Memory

Doug Keyes, Collective Memory is a must have for all those smart obsessed photobook collectors.  

Doug_keyes_collective_Memorry It just came out a few days ago from Decode Books, and is already selling out. It's a small book, but packs an powerful punch. We just got our copy in the mail yesterday, and it's already one we've gone back to several times. Amazon was already sold out.. but you can get a copy here.

It's Doug's first monograph with an essay by Sheryl Conkelton. Here's the description from Amazon..

Doug Keyes's photographs investigate the ways that knowledge stacks upon itself over time, leaving an impression or "collective memory.' In his first monograph, Collective Doug_Keyes_BecherWaterTowers Memory, Keyes's luminous color images of books literally reveal and sometimes conceal this stacking by capturing through multiple exposure the experience of reading the book. The resulting single image is a condensed document of the experience, the ideas contained within, and the physical identity of the book itself. The books Keyes chooses to photograph from art books and works of fiction, to poetry books and books on scientific theory hold personal meaning or remembrance for him and become sites to revisit. Keyes's photographs in fact make visible the pleasure of leafing through a text and the memory of that experience.

(photo #2, Doug Keyes, Bernd and Hilla Becher Water Towers, dye coupler print)

Doug_Keyes_Donald_Judd_colorist_01 We first saw his work at The Foley Gallery in Chelsea.. but this book project is his best work to date.

(photo #3, Doug Keyes, Donald Judd Colorist, 2001, dye coupler print, 15 x 25")

A must have for any photobook library.

June 06, 2008

New photobook by Amy Arbus, "The Fourth Wall"

So for all those Broadway show tune queens fan out there interested in art photography, MAO has got the most amazing book for you! The Fourth Wall by Amy Arbus.


For those photo-clueless readers out there in blog land, Amy Arbus is the daughter of photography legend Diane Arbus. 


Allen_cummings_amy_Arbus An accomplished photographer in her own right, Amy has produced several thought provoking books, but this time she’s been working for the last few years taking intimate and revealing portraits of several Broadway stars.  The stars are all photographed off the Broadway stage, but many still in full costume and make-up.  

Amy has completed a remarkably insightful portfolio, by taking the actor out of their associated stage set context, and frequently photographing them in empty hall ways, and sometimes in the wacky personal surroundings of their small disheveled very un-glamorous dressing rooms. We loved so many of these portraits, and the book is totally wonderful.


(Photo, by Amy Arbus, photo of Allen Cumming in Cabaret., cover of the book)


It is MAO’s projection, that The Fourth Wall by Amy Arbus is going to be one of the most sought after photo books this year, and clearly a must have for any photography book obsessed collector.


Lastly… we apologize for the lack of new posts the last few weeks.. Typepad.com has irresponsibly rolled out a new shit version of their editor and it’s a total buggy piece of crap. Their spell checker doesn’t work, and we’ve lost several complete posts. It’s a total pain in the ass!!

June 07, 2007

Alec Soth's New Photo Book - Dog Days Bogota

New Photo Book coming from photographer/Blogger extraordinaire Alec Soth.

For all those Alec Sothamaniacs out there, you'll be happy to know there's a new book coming out soon published by Steidl this fall.

Alec has already posted many of the photos from this project on his website.

Since this book is clearly a MAO-Must.. Here's the link to pre-order your copy, and here's the publishes link.

Alec_soth_dog_days_bogota_044_27_10 These 2 photo's from the project, were immediately on the MAO hit list...

Dog Days Bogota.
Photographs by Alec Soth.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2007. 96 pp., 65 color illustrations, 9x9"

Publisher's Description

After completing the work for his first book, Sleeping by the Mississippi, in 2002, Alec Soth traveled with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, to adopt a baby girl. The baby's birth mother had given the new parents a book filled with letters, pictures and poems for their daughter. 'I hope that the hardness of the world will not hurt your sensitivity,' she wrote. 'When I think about you I hope that your life is full of beautiful things.' While the courts processed the adoption paperwork, and with these words as a mission statement, Soth set about making his own book for Alec_soth_dog_days_bogota his daughter. Soth writes, 'In photographing the city of her birth, I hope I've described some of the beauty in this hard place.' This beauty makes itself apparent through ramshackle architecture, the companionship of animals and the perseverance of the human spirit. But Soth's photographs also transcend the simple description of beauty, roaming through a cast of strays, tough souls and small hints of hope.

March 16, 2007

Some Pearls of Wisdom from Duane Michals

Duane_michals_self_portrait If you've not picked up a copy of Duane Michals hilarious and totally bitchy witty book.. Foto Follies, How Photography Lost It's Virginity on the way to the Bank get one ASAP!!

Actually, they're still on pre-order at amazon and BarnesandNoble.com but, finally it's in a few bookstores...I found that Dashwood Books had some copies..
The entire book, is a MUST read for photographers, Art dealers, and EVERY crazy photo obsessed collector.

Here's just one of my favorite parts from the book.. Duane gave us his..
Tattle-Tales From The Land of Fauxtography

  1. Photography has never been about money, it had always been about photography. Now that the Haute Kunsters have deemed it art, it's all about money and not about photography.
  2. Foxy photographers who call themselves "artists" who take photographs and not photographers, are moron oxys. If a photograph is labeled a mere photograph it is only worth $3,000; if a photograph is labeled a conceptual piece, it fetches $300,000 - semantic sleight of hand.
  3. Never trust any photograph so large that it can only fit inside a museum.
  4. Color is the new black and white.
  5. HOW CRITICS FLUFF THEIR FEATHERS AND PREEN WITH IRONIC AND ICONIC JARGON: One intuits that one has experienced highfalutin cultural hyperbole when one has read one or more of the following brand philosopher's names bandied about in one or more sentences of an art speak critique review: Wittgenstein's Tractatus-Logicics-Philosophicus, Nietzsche's Ubermensch, Darrida's deconstructivist construct, Cartesian logic, Lacan's lexicon, and the epigrammatic phenomenology of Husserl and Marceau-Ponty.
  6. The announced demise of the decisive moment is premature.
  7. Bill Brandt's nudes give me an art-on.
  8. "Kitsch Ray The Wonder Weimaraner Bites William Wegman's Ass" - headline from The Onion.
  9. Photographers whose next three books will look like their last three-books should quit.
  10. The Bechers are the godfathers of the Dusseldorfer Avant-Garde Photo Kunst Academie of Derriere-Garde Photography mafia.
  12. Art is never boring. Andy Warhol was boring.
  13. Gary Winogrand was a snapshooter. A snapshooter is a voyeur who loves the act of taking pictures but doesn't necessarily care about the photographs. He left seven thousand rolls of undeveloped films.
  14. This is the era of foto fast food. Too many Tillmans will give you heartburn, high cholesterol and a fat ass.
  15. Diane Arbus is authentic; Cindy Sherman is inauthentic.
  16. Museums should never exhibit photographs of visitors looking as art in museums to visitors who are looking at art in museums.
  17. The Menage-a-trois of the symbiotic relationship between dealers, critics and museum defines contemporary art. The imprimatur of this art-industrial complex informs the hedge fund arrivistes how to decorate their walls with trendy conspicuous consumption.
  18. Mapplethorpe was not a poete maudit. He was an old fashion fairy who unwittingly legitimized Leviticus by describing homosexuals as terminally hedonistic queers. Jerry Falwell would agree.

January 22, 2007

Is there still Art in SoHo?

So this weekend.. on the sound advice of our Art Blog friends.. we headed to SOHO. We'd heard rumors that some attitude filled "Chelsea style" art galleries and art bookshops could still be found in this part of town.

Abelardo_morell_two_tall_booksFirst stop, since we're totally art book obsessed, was the new Taschen bookstore. They were having a "BIG WAREHOUSE" sale, with thousands of items 50-70% off.
Well... this ended up being a huge disappointment. The store is tiny.. their selection of books insignificant.. and the sale prices were on almost nothing! What the hell..?? Where were the THOUSANDS of 70% off Books?? I think, we at MAO received at least 3 or 4  specific emails advertising this BIG book sale, why, I have no idea.. it was a total waste of time.. And we'll never go back to this lame ass store again..

Our advice.. If you're looking for a Taschen book... get it from Buy.com. It's much cheaper then Abelardo_morell_book_wavy_pages Taschen's own bookstore, most shipping is free, and you don't pay sales tax.. or go to...

The Strand on 12th street/bway.. The Strand has almost every Taschen book.. at cheap (approx a 20% discount) prices.

Some other NYC book shops worth your time..to check out

The MOMA Mezzanine bookshop. one of the best art bookshops left in Manhattan...but you have to have admission to the museum to visit this one.

If you're looking for photography books..

also well worth checking out..

  1. Dashwood books on Bond Street.. they will also take consignments, last time I was there I saw 2  local photographers dropping off their own new books.
  2. ICP Bookshop - Great resource..They have at least 1copy of almost every photo book that's still in production.

(FYI.. these great book photos are by Abelardo Morell, #1. Two Tall Books, 2002, and #2. Book with Wavy Pages, 2001)

So... Anyone have other worthwhile NYC bookshop suggestions?

Tomorrow.. part II, of our Art Safari through the retail infested streets of SOHO!

January 05, 2007

Kota Ezawa Book from Nazraeli Press

Kota_ezawawanda One of the MAO staff's many Artist Obsessions.. is the work of San Fran wrong coast Artist.. Kota Ezawa. We at MAO can't say enough nice things about the Art and Image appropriations by Mr. Ezawa. So it's with great anticipation we look forward to getting a copy of his new book published by Nazraeli Press! Order it soon while it's supplies last....

The History of Photography Remix.
Photographs by Kota Ezawa.
Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2007. 56 pp., 42 four-color illustrations, 12x12".


Notes from the Publisher :Using well-known films, videos, and photographs, Ezawa explores the appropriation and mediation of current events and images. The History of Photography Remix draws on important art and documentary photographs made throughout the history of the medium.

For those who don't know Kota.. This young artist... has had quite the run already!

In addition to work currently on view at MOMA's "Out of Time" show, and being included in The 2006 Whitney's Biennial. He's had a solo exhibition at Artspace in San Antonio,TX. Ezawa will be included in the exhibition Super Cinema at the Guggenheim in New York, and an upcoming show at SFMOMA. Here's a few of his works...

  • Photo #1: Wanda, (book cover)
  • Photo #2 : Kota (Self Portrait)
  • Photo #3 : Schleyer
  • Photo #4 : Riefenstahl,
  • Photo #5 : Polaroid Land Camera
  • Photo #6 : Earth from Moon

Kota_ezawaschelyer Kota_ezawareifenstahl

Note... these 6 images were all published in an Aquatint print portfolio by Paulson Press edition of 35, very reasonably priced at $6,000.Kota_ezawapolaroid Kota_ezawaaquaearth

November 24, 2006

New Photography Book by Phaidon: Vitamin Ph !

For all those Art Photography Enthusiasts.. If you haven't picked it up yet.. run out and get this MAO MUST book Today! It's a brand new survey of the up and coming stars of the Art Photography world.

Vitamin_ph_new_perspectives_in_photograp Vitamin Ph : New Perspectives in Photography

published by


The introduction of the book is written by TJ Demos.

Granted it's a broad survey, but it gives the reader a super current road map for the direction of Art photography.

These 121 photographers were chosen by 79 curators, 11 lords-a-leaping, several established artists, and 2 turtle doves a few art critics.... I guess they couldn't find a partridge in a pear....!!

In summery, the book includes lots of new, established, and some soon to be famous photographers from 40 different countries.

Since I'm so sure you're all super curious..

Here are the MAO TOP 20 PICKS to watch from among the too many featured in the book..(list in alphabetical order) :

  1. Valerie Belin,
  2. Olaf Breuning,
  3. Anne Collier,
  4. Kelli Connell,
  5. Sharon Core,
  6. Tacita Dean,
  7. Olafur Eliasson,
  8. Anna Gaskell,
  9. Anthony Goicolea,
  10. Nikki S. Lee,
  11. Sharon Lockart,
  12. Vera Lutter,
  13. Ryan McGinley,
  14. Catherine Opie,
  15. Robin Rhode,
  16. Andrea Robbins/Max Becher,
  17. Sarah Pickering,
  18. Alessandra Sanguinetti,
  19. Collier Schorr, and
  20. Alec Soth.

My sincere congrats to all 121 artists... Wow!! now, that's a lot of young photographers!!

Oh... and if you were wondering what to get that "someone special" for Christmas....try some Vitamins... P, D, and now Ph to put some muscle in your art book collection.

November 17, 2006

Note to Self... Pre-Order Duane Michals Foto Follies!

OK.. well.. the NYC madness contemporary art auction is now over. Back to reality..

This looks like a MAO MUST have.. unfortunately we'll have have to wait till Jan'07!

Description : Of this satirical look at contemporary photography, Duane Michals has said, "The more serious you are, the sillier you have to be. I have a great capacity for foolishness. It’s essential." Whether parodying Wolfgang Tillmans or Andres Serrano, Sherrie Levine (A Duane Michals Photograph of a Sherrie Levine Photograph of a Walker Evans Photograph) or Cindy Sherman (Who is Sydney Sherman?), Michals uses his ferocious wit and keen eye to create images at once humorous and penetrating. As The New York Times described Gursky's Gherkin, the work "explores as never before the sense of picklehood, or what it means to be a pickle." The Times also testified that "this high-humored sendup of arty photography should be required viewing for all art-world heavies, particularly critics, curators and collectors." Michals takes aim at pretensions that are often perceived as deliberately obscuring contemporary art, and in doing so he exemplifies his mastery of both the visual world and the written word, while providing the elemental pleasure of a good laugh.

August 25, 2006

Opie, Gonzalez-Torres, and Taylor-Wood, Three New Great Books..

On my walk home from work last Friday, I stopped into the amazing ICP book store.
Being a total Art Book-Aholic this can become a dangerously addicting expensive event.

If you're like me, and on on a 12-step book program tight budget .. you need to go there with a specific limited shopping list.. That night was a 3 book max.. We were in luck.. the first two prized targets they had in stock !!

Book #1 : Catherine_opie_1999 Catherine Opie, "1999 | In and Around Home" Published in conjunction with the exhibition by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. The book brings together two different photographic projects with a thoughtful introduction by Elizabeth Armstrong.

The images are powerful and filled with OpieEsque LesBionic butch political commentary. You'll just love her 1999 pre-turn of the century American landscapes (wow!) many of the images are very refreshing and cool. (Photo #1, one of her 1999 great images)

Book # 2 : Sam_taylorwood_jesus_is_coming Sam Taylor-Wood's dual book project, it's inovatively produced as one soft cover and one hard cover books in one nicely banded package. Still Lives, the hard cover book, is a  classic show catalog from BALTIC, the other soft cover book titled "Jesus is Coming" (Photo #2, The Cover image pictured to the left) is a collection of a broad range of unpublished and commissioned photos.

The third book..

Which was clearly the most prized item, was the first major full comprehensive monograph spanning the entire career of Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

So.. it was with total shock and awe when I picked up the one display copy at the bookstore to be told they only received 3 copies of the precious book that morning.

But, the two available for sale copies had just been both purchased by one book hog buyer that morning!!

     So when I shrieked complained sternly, that it was clearly insane unfair for them to allow one book hog person to buy both of their precious two available copies.. They laughed at me (like don't they know who I am???) and the little bookstore nerd she said.. "Well, The Buyer was a CELEBRITY!! It was Sir Elton John!" Like BFD! So?

Anyway.. Felix_gonzalestorres_black_rod_licorice_1 The third Book, Felix Gonzalez-Torres Edited by Julie Ault published by Steidle is 320 pages, and filled with original writings, and richly documented with many images of his shows, numerous installations.

(photo #3, Felix's Untitled - Public Opinion, 1991, Black Rod Licorice candy, individually wrapped in cellophane, endless supply, ideal weight, 700 lbs)

Just like his work, the book is truly great.. and it was well worth me trekking all over NYC (I almost even had to cross water!!) for several hours on my MAO vision quest to find an available copy that Friday night!

May 26, 2006

Summer Reading List?? Any Suggestions?

It's Memorial Weekend FridayNangoldin_beachblanket Today, which marks the real start to the summer drinking reading season in NYC. So I'm looking for some suggestions to round out my summer reading list while on the beach at Fire Island. So far I've picked up these:

  1. Art Incorporated, The story of Contemporary Art, by Julian Stallabrass (already two-thirds finished.. not too good so far!)
  2. An Inner Silence: The Portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson by Agnes Sire & Jean-Luc Nancy
  3. Talking Prices: Symbolic Meaning of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art by Olav Velthuis
  4. I Bought Andy Warhol by Richard Polsky
  5. The Worth of Art: Pricing the Priceless by Judith Benhamou-Huet

Any new "must read book" that I'm missing?? All suggestions welcome!

And FYI.. NO, this is not me in the photo silly!! It's Nan Goldin's  "C.Z. and Maz on the Beach" 1976 from The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.. and also, not so coincidentally, The MAO family art collection!.

Have a fun Long Weekend!

May 18, 2006

RIF !! Reading Is Fundamental!!

RIF - Reading Is Fundamental well.. actually for the truly Modern Art Obsessed.. Art Books are the drug of choice best candy.  And vintage signed first edition photography books are the nerds art addicts cocaine Godiva Chocolates.

Bookworm Actually I believe it's one of the last relatively undiscovered art collectible.  On May 18th Christies only had their First Ever Photography Book Auction in London.

So, we have yet to see art book prices explode the way we've seen it happen to everything else in the Contemporary Art world.  I also think it's a fun and educational way for new art collectors to  satisfy their addiction get their feet wet.  Last year at least 3 new Books on Photography Books were published, and this month one of the most well respected leading NYC photography dealers, Howard Greenberg Gallery, has a new show just dedicated to Photography Books.

So, Today is the Swann Galleries Photography Book Auction!! Here's a few on the MAO hit list!!

So wish me luck.. and if any MAO readers out there have signed vintage versions of these Jems they'd like to sell... I'm a sucker buyer!!

March 15, 2006

Book of the Month - Singular Images, Essays on Remarkable Photographs

It's Mid Month!! Which of course means.. we have our newest favorite Art book of the month! I can tell you're all so excited!! So, do you think this is how Oprah Winfrey's Book Club got it's start?? Hmmmm....
Aperture_bookThis time.. I chose Singular Images, Essays on Remarkable Photographs, published by the wonderful people at Aperture.

Other than the amazing Nan Goldin photo "The Hug" on the cover (also in the MAO Art Collection..and my all time favorite photograph)..with an insightful essay by Darsie Alexander curator from the Baltimore Museum of Art.  I was impressed with the depth of these essays, one on each photo. While it's common to see full narratives written about a single painting or sculpture, over the many years of collecting art books, I've found few lengthy scholarly essays on single photographs. The only other 2 good ones I'd recommend are

Photo Icons I (1827-1926) and

Photo Icons II (1928-1991) both by Taschen

which also focus on single images, but they stopped just as the photographic arts were coming into it's prime! I even remember early debates with art experts over whether a single photographic image was really capable of holding the viewers attention long enough to warrant a lengthy essay.  Well, luckily times have changed, and now we have another entire book dedicated to just 12 single images.

My only complaint with the book, is there's no explanation provided as to the process of selecting the specific photographers and the single images for the book.  Since in fact many photographs are really just building blocks of much larger artistic project/story, I imagine it was difficult for editor Sophie Howarth (curator from the Tate Modern) to single out just "12 Perfect" images. While, these are not exactly my top choices (like they should have asked me!!), these photos do easily stand on their own.

I did enjoy the entire book, but besides Nan Goldin's "The Hug" and essay which clearly deserved to be on the cover, the other clear standouts were :

  1. Bill Brandt's "A Snicket, Halifax" (photo #2) essay by Nigel Warburton
  2. Diane Arbus's "A Young Brooklyn Family going for a Sunday Outing" (photo #3)essay by Liz Jobey
  3. Hiroshi Sugimoto's "Aegean Sea,Pilion" (photo #3) essay by Dominic Willsdon.
  4. Thomas Struth "San Zaccaria,Venice" (Photo #4)essay by Sophia Howarth.

Brandt_snicket Arbus_brooklyn_family Sugimoto_ageanStruth_zaccaria I think it's an outstanding effort, very entertaining, and a new must read for a photography collector. And no.. I don't get a commission from Aperture for recommending their books!!

February 13, 2006

Baghdad Journal By Steve Mumford - MAO Book of the Month

Happy Valentines Day All MAO Readers!  So, did you all hear how Dick Cheney is capitalizing in on this shooting accident for Valentines Day? The Republicans are rolling out a new Dick Cheney cologne.. It's called DUCK!  Actually, Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. When everyone found out he shot a lawyer, his approval rating went up!

OK.. well.. as they say.. All is fair in love and war..I know I've had a few dozen war filled rationships..MAO Heart's Dr. Quiz... so what better choice for an Art Book of the Month on Valentines Day than..

Baghdad Journal, An Artist In Occupied Iraq by Steve Mumford. It's has been out for a bit, released in late 2005 by Drawn & Quarterly Books, Montreal... but I just got a copy this weekend.

189659790401_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_Many Artnet.com readers my be familiar with some of these artworks.. Or maybe you were lucky enough to see a few of these at the Greater NY show this summer at P.S.1. That was the first time I had ever seen any Steve Mumford's work.  In short.. it's Photo-Journalism.. but this time done without photography and by a skilled watercolor artist!  Actually I think this body of drawings work better in book form than in a gallery show. The results of seeing the entire project.. I found amazing. 

Mumford embedded himself with many US Military units as a documentary artist.  While the book is not overly political, it's images are powerful. The work includes 4 years of watercolors and drawings spent in wartime Iraq.  Steve Mumford documents everyday life activities of both the local population, other journalists, local artists, Iraq insurgents, as well as many US soldiers. He also documents US Patrols on raids, and combat missions. I found the images of the war aftermath the most moving.. images of wounded civilians, burning buildings, and  POWs.

Baghdadj02The book is filled with a narrative directly lifted from Mr. Mumford daily journals which vividly describe almost every image.

There's a definite photographic eye Mumford has used when picking his subjects.  We've all been bombarded with war time imagery from TV coverage of the Iraq war, these watercolors look as if they are almost caricatures of TV broadcasts.  But there is a unsettling beauty seeing  watercolors...which are most typically the medium for pretty pastoral landscapes and flowers, appropriated to document the horrors of war. Very Powerful.

Mumford The most disturbing example is the image of detainees, with hoods over their heads, titled simply “Suspects,” and presented without comment. While Mumford generally avoids a strong political message, this image does give strong reference to the Abu Ghrib prisoner abuse.

NYT critic Michael Kimmelman wrote of his work presented at PS1...“They announce a mature artist looking closely at what is urgently unfolding around him. Their traditional sobriety stands out in a show that, like the burbling young art world now, seems gladly co-opted and almost too able to please.”

I think the book is better than seeing just a few works on a museum wall.. it gives the reader a differnet perspective on the Iraq war, this time through a painters eye.

"So, Cheney's defense is that he was aiming at a quail when he shot the guy. Which means that Cheney now has the worst aim of anyone in the White House since Bill Clinton"-Jay Leno

January 20, 2006

Diane Arbus, Lisette Model, Christer Stromholm

MAO - Jan'06 Book of The Month.

And, so sorry for the lack of posts this week.. my other half, Dr. Quiz was away for a long time.. so I've been a very busy boy at the bars breaking hearts, at work and hanging out with big ass time trouble this week.

So..A new B&W photography book was out last month (Dec 15th), but many may have missed it during your busy holiday party schedules.  Clearly, it slipped most MAO friends Christmas shopping lists.. cause we actually had to buy our own copy of the book the other day, but that 5th pair of gloves, and a lovely salad spinner were much appreciated, Thanks!

Arbus, Model, Stromholm is a show catalog from the exhibition at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, published by Steidl Verlag, with essay's by the Museum's Curator of Photography Anna Tellgren.


(Pic # 1- Book cover)

The Show was called

"Autumn in black and white Arbus Model Stromholm" and it

ran from

Oct 1, 2005 until

Jan 15th, 2006.


I've included a few of my favorites photos.

(Pic #2 - Diane Arbus "A young man in curlers at home on West 20th street, NY, NY 1966"  I'm glad to see.. West 20th street has not changed much in 40 years!!)

There's just something about this image.. I luv her!

Diane Arbus was so brilliant!


I was very familiar with uber popular Diane Arbus (1923-1971), and her New School teacher Lisette Model (1901-1983) work, but the photography of Swedish legend Christer Stromholm (1918-2002) was somewhat new to me.

While he was born and lived most of his life in Stockholm, many of Stromholm's most profound images were taken in Paris and Los Angeles in the 1960's.

(Pic #3 - Lisette Model "Woman with Veil, San Francisco, 1949")

But it's obvious all three's impressive and haunting work in Urban Humanistic Documentary photography are closely linked.

All working roughly at the same time (Model was a bit earlier), they all seemed to focus their photographic eye on the fringes of their society, looking deeply into issues of outsider-ship, and subcultures.

Stromholm1 (Pic #4 Chister Stromholm, "Los Angeles, 1963")

There are many more of Stromholm's images here.

While the book has several interesting quotes from the photographers.. My favorite 2 go to Lisette Model, both said in 1951. Her words are still so profound today.

"New images surround us everywhere. They are invisible only because of sterile routine convention and fear.  To find these images is to dare to see, to be aware of what there is and how it is. The Photographer not only gets information, he gives information about life."

"Speed, the fundamental condition of the activities of our day is the power of photography, indeed the modern art of today, the art of the split second"

I found this a great comparative photographic book, a MAO must have! I only wish the Arbus Estate would have allowed more of her photography in the book.. there are only 3 full plates, and 3 smaller Arbus photographs.

December 12, 2005

Nan Goldin - New Art Book of the Month

So in honor of the Swann Galleries Photography/Book Auctions Today.. (Yes. I'm not the only Geek collector interested in collecting art books, there's actually a developed auction market for this stuff!)

I'm starting the first New Art Book Of the Month.
  So while visiting the New Shows at ICP Friday night, I stopped in their book store to find.. Img_0614this new gem!

Soeurs, Saintes et Sibylles By Nan Goldin

This new book (written in both French and English) includes old family snapshots, some of her most powerful classic images, plus many new photos.  Unlike most of Nan's previous work which focused on the colorful people in her life, (mostly her close personal friends), this work exclusively looks back at Nan's life and family.  Most significantly, it's focus is on her Sister Barbara's tortured life and how it impacted her.  I found the work powerful, beautiful, tragic, and as always deeply personal, exactly what we'd expect form this great artist!  I loved it.. but then again (if you've met some of my friends, you'll know) I'm such a sucker for people's tragic drama!

Also.. for all you Nan Goldin fans.. there's a new museum show opening up next week.

Nan Goldin: Fantastic Tales - Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philly Dec 17th - Feb 12, 2006.

Works from the private collection of Gerry & David Pincus. A Show Catalogue will also be published by the Penn State Press. It's Available Now.. FANTASTIC TALES: The Photography of Nan Goldin.  So.. Anyone up for a Weekend Philly Road Trip?