Recommended Publications

As artists, as photographers, our sources of inspiration are unique and self-serving.  Art and its analysis are like an endless hallway filled with an endless amount of doors; the doors are the information we expose ourselves; by opening them we encourage ourselve to continue moving forward.  These are a few articles, books, magazines, or other literary minutiae that stir my thoughts.  Check back often for new additions to this list.

This is the autobiographical journey down memory lane written by Patti Smith, who recounts her formative years at the side of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City in the 1960s and 70s.  It is an achingly poignant and sweetly painful memoir about the struggle for artistic development, and the sacrifices one must endure to achieve the greater goal.  If the story itself is not enough, then read it for its merit: it won the National Book Award in 2010.

A photo book by Richard Billingham, one of my favorite photographers.  It is difficult to find, although some of its images may be seen here.  Besides the beauty of the images, the process of elimination and organization used to construct the portfolio has been a part of my modus operandi since I discovered it.  The idea that serious and striking images can be tempered by the introduction of small slices of the banal, and in this way maintaining the attention of the viewer, is to me a stroke of simple genius.

I often walk a fine line on the question of art for money versus art for the community.  Phillip Toledano created an in memoriam of his father's last days, and published it in an online format.  Although you can purchase the printed book, there is something so simple and so raw about the free online version that calls to me.  It is also a testament to the idea that sometimes images can say so much, without saying much at all.

A giant in the genre, Edward Weston kept a series of journals where he documented his personal experience with life.  A must for any photographer looking to engage in personal development through the craft of photography.

In the tradition of other nomadic photographers before him, Alec Soth lays out a survey of Americana in this book wrought with ennui and nuances of the everyday. 

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