Our Top Photo Book Picks for Your Shelf
Edited by Nicolas Moore. Published by Damiani. Hardcover. 280 pages. $75. Published April 2017.
In the heyday of the Harper’s Bazaar fashion photography renaissance, led by legendary editor Carmel Snow, photographers such as Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Richard Avedon produced work that defined contemporary editorials. But at the end of Avedon’s tenure at the magazine followed James Moore, a second-generation Chinese American photographer from Brooklyn. Moore, who studied under iconic Harper’s art director Alexey Brodovitch, brought the 1960s-era mod and bohemian looks to its pages in bold, cinematic style and, despite his long career in photography and television commercials, has lost some of his recognition over the years.
Damiani’s retrospective on Moore spans more than 50 years, with sensual fashion stories from France, the Philippines, Egypt and Brazil; noir portraits of film icons Cary Grant and Stanley Kubrick; a collaboration with artist Andy Warhol; and endless international magazine covers. In a forward by Martin Harrison, he writes: “But if the romance of the 1960s, when ‘we lived and breathed photography,’ proved fleeting, James Moore crystallized the moment and the dream with great élan.”
By Annie Leibovitz. Phaidon Press.
Hardback. 316 pages. $90. Available October 2017.
We could use this space to list all of the celebrities, politicians and public figures that appear in the latest monograph by famed portraitist and longtime Vanity Fair photographer Annie Leibovitz, but we wouldn’t have room for anything else. We can give you a taste, however. In Portraits 2005-2016, you’ll see the Obamas pre-presidency, the Queen of England (and her corgis), artist Jeff Koons exercising in the buff, prominent-yet-private photographer Cindy Sherman, the final collection of designer Alexander McQueen, the entire Gryffindor
We can give you a taste, however. In Portraits 2005-2016, you’ll see the Obamas pre-presidency, the Queen of England (and her corgis), artist Jeff Koons exercising in the buff, prominent-yet-private photographer Cindy Sherman, the final collection of designer Alexander McQueen, the entire Gryffindor quidditch team and J.K. Rowling, Miley Cyrus’ controversial 2008 back-baring shoot, a shirtless Adam Driver holding an (also shirtless) Irish ram, the Kardashian-Wests with baby North—the list goes on.
Portraits is a follow-up to A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005, and Photographs, 1970-1990, making it the third installment spanning a segment of her career. In an afterword, Leibovitz writes about her process for selecting work and reflects on the type of photographer she is. Though she has taken many portraits within the walls of a closed set, she prefers a space reflective of her subject. “Location is an integral part of the picture. Not as background or décor,” she writes. “The history of a place, its sounds and smells, influences a picture in ways that are impossible to achieve in a studio.”
A Modern Hair Study
By Tara Bogart. Kehrer Verlag. Cloth hardcover. 120 pages. $40.
Tara Bogart’s series “A Modern Hair Study” has exhibited in solo and group shows for five years and is finally be available in book form following a successful Kickstarter campaign and a partnership with German publisher Kehrer Verlag.
Bogart’s study of women’s hair was sparked after a trip to the photo archives of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. An 1865 photograph by Nadar, “Marie Laurent” which depicts the back of a woman’s head, stayed with her long after her visit. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what that same image would look like today,” she writes in an afterword.
The 52 portraits of A Modern Hair Study form a typology of women’s hair today and calls into question how femininity is defined. The work thoughtfully and subtly disrupts stereotypes of how a woman should present herself. And, despite no eye contact with her subjects, there is an inherent intimacy in each oval frame.
Though Bogart is not of the same generation as the women in her series, she reflects on the similarities they share. “While certain ideals are often relevant to different generations, the ways in which women adorn and modify themselves often indicate the struggles of a young adult with their own ideology and individuality,” she writes. “After photographing these women, I can imagine these struggles are timeless.”