6 posts categorized "The MAO Art Collection"

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!


November 17, 2010

Gratutitous Self Promotion....

If you're not seen this months issue of Modern Painters Magazine...

Modernpaintersmag_Nov2010 This month they did a great job of putting together an issue dedicated to Art Photography. Not exactly what you would expect from a magazine titled "Modern Painters" No?

But it's a really great issue.. and it also has this handsome featured photo collector story, which MAO thinks is well worth your time to checkout...

Download ModernPainters_MagProfile_Story_Nov2010

On your News Stands now!!

Also.. a big thank you goes out to this thoughtful to nice to be an art dealer blogger.. for actually quoting MAO in his BLOG from this Modern Painters Interview.... here..

January 10, 2007

Show and Tell with John A. Bennette and his flock of collectors..

Last night, we opened the doors to part of the MAO family collection to an outstanding group of bright young collectors. The group tour was led and organized by the patriarchal brilliant John A. Bennette, a private curator, writer, collector, and professor at The New School. And while, it's always a bit daunting to show such a personal private collection to total strangers brand new friends, it ended up being a most enjoyable evening.

John's flock were funny, curious, intelligent, and shared the same lust for art collecting as the staff at MAO. Many had a great knowledge of the contemporary art world, and could identify and critique most of the prized holdings on display. Hopefully we got to infect share some of our obsession enthusiasm for our favorite contemporary artists and photographers with them. No doubt... the demand for artists: Kota Ezawa, Susan Derges, Chris Dorland, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nikki Lee, Zoe Crosher, Aaron Krach, Brian Finke and Christopher Bucklow works have already seen a huge surge of interest in just the last few hours!!

Kehinde_wileybust_st_francis_of_adelaideWhile everyone always goes oooh and aaahhh over the many Muniz, Goldin, Arbus, Burtynsky and Mapplethorpe photos in the collection, most surprising were the many questions and unexpected interest around these 2 little works..

Both were by Deitch super star artist Kehinde Wiley,

and produced by Cereal Art in Multiples..

If you agree, both are still available... for only $1,000 each.

(Photo #1 : St. Francis of Adelaide) ,

Kehinde_wileybust_lrg_sun_king (Photo # 2 : Bust Louis XVI, The Sun King), Both are made of cast marble dust and resin, and measure only 10in x 9.5in x 3inches.

So, we hope to see John (aka... The photo art collector shepard) and his many enthusiastic collectors again sometime soon......

but hopefully not bidding against us at the next round of Christies, Sothebys or Phillips auctions!!

February 22, 2006

P.S.1 - MAO Collection - Wolfgang Tillmans


So, I've been meaning to post some new additions to The MAO family collection for a while.  I'll start with these photographs by Wolfgang Tillmans.  He's one of my favorite living artists.

First off, everytime I read his name in any press it's always followed by "2000 Tate - Turner Prize Winner". Well.. since the Turner Prize was awarded to "the person who, in the opinion of the jury, has made the greatest contribution to art in Britain in the previous twelve months".. I guess it's impressive for a German Photographer to win! Or is it more a reflection on there being so few decent new accomplished British artists?? Hmmm... not sure..

Anyway, Wolfie has been on the MAO hit list for a long time. Ever since picking up his 1998 book BURG, I've been a fan and collector.  There's just something about his still life's and human culture images that just connected with my contorted NYC aesthetic me.  I find his ability to  make the ordinary, special, most appealing. 

This first photo was a recent bargain auction purchase, and one I've wanted for a long time, but it had been sold out for years. 

(Photo #1, Window Caravaggio, 1997)

These next 2, are newer works.  The first one I got suckered into spotted at Art Basel Miami. It's amazing what a few too many martini's at lunch poolside can do for art sales.  Yes.. I know Dr. Quiz.. I'll leave Rocco the credit card at home this year!  (Photo #2 Faltenwuf, "Twisted", 2000)


So for all you Wolfgang Tillmans fans out there.. You're in luck.. He's got his first major American museum show opening up at P.S. 1 on February 26th and running to May 29th. The show's titled "Wolfgang Tillmans : Freedom from the Known"

It sounds like the show is going to include 25 new large-scale abstract works, plus some older figurative works, from the series Empire taken from 1991 to 2002.

Special Event not to be missed : On March 2nd at 6pm Wolfgang Tillmans will lead a gallery walk/discussion through the show... It will be interesting to hear what the artist has to say about these purely abstract photographs.. because I for one, have never fully understood them! But then again... I'm easily confused!

The third photo, added to the collection, was also a new work. It just had a certain raunchy fantasy appeal.. I'm not sure why... (Photo #3, Stripped, 2003)

But, lastly.. for those like me who love his early work, there will be a major retrospective of Wolfgang Tillmans coming up soon! The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will present a full retrospective, opening on May 20 - August 13, 2006. Chicago summer road trip anyone??

January 23, 2006

MAO Art Acquisition - Kota Ezawa

So I told myself when on en-route to Art Basel Miami.. No Impulse Buying!! In fact, I could still hear the prophetic words of Michael Jenkins of Sikkema Jenkins & Co, when she told Dr. Quiz.. "...you're letting him go to Miami without you??  Well... Make sure your husband leaves her credit card at HOME!!!"

        So, as a long time photography collector I've been going to the auctions, fairs, and gallery shows for years.. and just as the super insightful Eric Schneider wrote this weekend.. there's a certain security in buying well known photographs by established artists when you have relevant price history.  As a Wall Street Hustler Professional I tend to be pretty conservative with my art collecting/investing.  So I've been hesitant to add much non established photography to the Img_0701_1aMAO collection.  Well.. there must have been something in the powder Rocco gave me air of South Beach.. Needless to say.. I didn't take my own advice!

Not only did I catch buy something in Miami.. But, I took the quantum leap!!  My first ever non-photographic artwork by a young artist arrived last week, from the abnormally (for an art dealer) friendly people  at Haines Gallery in SF.

Well.. Luckily... I actually liked it!! Even Dr. Quiz approved, a truly rare event in MAO art collecting history!

So.. it's not a photograph.. well. It's actually derived from a photograph.. it's a slide on a light-box. (see photo #1)

John and Yoko, by Kota Ezawa after Annie Liebowitz from his History of Photography Remix Show. For those clueless photographically image impaired readers.. This photo was made famous as a RollingStone Magazine Cover.. An image I've always coveted! 


I hope to post more on Kota Ezawa next week.. Planning a Sunday road trip to Hartford CT...  going to see his current show at the  Wadsworth Atheneum Museum.

What in the world is an Atheneum anyway??? 

So.. road trip, anyone?   We've got room for 2 more, and Dr. Quiz will promise to keep his endless questions to just a few hundred a minimum!