As Photo-eye’s Best Books of 2012 is published online today, I thought I’d share my selections along with some others that nearly made it. Many of the books on my list were generously mailed to me by artists or publishers and, in turn, featured on this blog in the past, and some of the others are in the queue to be featured soon (keep an eye out). This process reminds me of what an exciting time it is for photobooks, with each year bringing forth new, powerful, and innovative projects. Lets be real… there are many, many more titles worth listing here.
The last remaining stock of ink made from fireflies was acquired for the making of this unique artist book, which without the use of a UV flashlight appears to be blank white pages. A witty concept, and a selection of images that’ll keep you wondering about the future.
Dive Dark Dream Slow
Anonymous photographs culled from a personal archive and given new context—a magical, memorable sequence.
Looking for Love, 1996
Just when you least expect it, love comes along.
Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel
An important collection of work by one of the greatest collaborations in the history of photography.
In the Car With R.
Beautiful both as an object and a photographic exploration of place.
A quiet reflection on the human desire to connect through the world of migrant workers living in Israel who rely on pay phones to talk to their loved ones back home. An understated book that is not to be overlooked.
In the words of Einstein, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Gettin’ down to business—a typology.
Die Son Sien Alles
A playful, penetrating portrait of contemporary South Africa through the embellished interiors of Cape Town.
Imaginary Landscape No. 1
Applying the structure of a seminal 1939 electroacoustic John Cage composition to a series of photographs. A clever first artist book.
I found it difficult to select just ten, so in no particular order here are some others that caught my attention.
Brilliantly weird. Weirdly brilliant.
Gill continues to push his photographic practice, and turns out a gorgeous series of artist books under his imprint delightfully named Nobody.
Perhaps one of the best retrospectives of the year.
A Natural Order
One of the best projects exploring this territory, and a luscious monograph to boot. Nice to see the zine included too.
American Portraits 1979-1989
An odd and touching portrait of America, with a nice edit by Todd Hido.
“Speed is stunted intuition.”
An elegant object that successfully combines photography, drawing, letters, and archival imagery. Bound to make many top ten lists.
Dark beauty. A nice introduction to her work for me.
With six or seven books (I lost count) to come out in the last year, it’s tough to choose but this one keeps me looking and gains depth with the dedication.
Photographic studies of human persistence. Unintentional sculpture.
War Primer 2 [eBook]
A nice use of the eBook format to provide access to a great book from last year that otherwise may be difficult for many to experience. Download for FREE.