The Artist's Eye at the Glucksman

blogEntryTopperAn exhibition of note if you happen to be in the Munster area, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork is showing The Artist’s Eye: Photographic Portraits of Artists. The exhibition, curated by Fiona Kearney and Marco Pierini in partnership with the Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy, brings together such diverse photographers as August Sander, Mimmo Jodice, Annie Leibovitz, Arnold Newman and Francesca Woodman to name a few. it’s a great opportunity to see the work of these photographers and how they tackle the job of portraying artists.


It’s a pity we only get to see one Arnold Newman portrait, that of Max Ernst, when he has such a body of work in that area, but there is quite a number of photographers included and an illustrated catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale accompanies the exhibition. Artist portraits include Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, John Lennon and Andy Warhol among many others. The Glucksman Gallery is a lovely exhibition space in the grounds of University College Cork. It runs until 7 July 2013.

Salgado's Genesis arrives

blogEntryTopperJust a short follow up to my previous post on this book. It has arrived and here are some photos to show what it’s like. I would describe the ‘colour’ as neutral to slightly warm. Paper quality is good. Printing is very good as is the binding and cover. Many of the photos are spread across two pages which personally I’m not a fan of, but at least they are not full bleed.



The book has 17 fold-outs which need to be handled carefully as they can easily crease if not put back correctly.



These examples are from the first section of the book.



Also included is a 36 page separate booklet which has background information about the photos.


It is clear that Taschen has put a lot of time, energy and attention to detail into the production of this book.

Artsy Salgado info page

Bookshops are best

I must admit that many of the photography books I buy these days are ordered online. And there are many good online stores. Among my favourites are The Book Depository, Amazon, Beyond Words, and photo-eye (US). But there is nothing like a good bookshop. There you have a place to browse and explore photography books that you may not be aware of, to make real discoveries. You can assess the quality of the books not only from a photographic point of view but also the quality of production.

One of my favourite bookshops is Vibes and Scribes 21 Lavitts Quay in Cork. They specialise in art and design books. If in Cork, I always make time to visit and explore. As well as new, they also deal in second hand books. It was here recently that I came across a very good copy of Jay Maisel's New York. it has long been out of print but new copies can be got from Amazon for over 100 pounds sterling. Mine cost €9.99. Another discovery was a signed copy of David Alan Harvey's book Divided Soul for €20. The only slight downside was that it was the spanish edition but it doesn't contain any long essays so not missing out there.


Online shopping is convenient and of course the choice is enormous but a good bookshop for me is still the best experience in book buying. Bookshops need our support now more then ever if they are to survive in this time of increased internet shopping.

Just to say that I have no connection with Vibes & Scribes, I’m only a happy customer.

Color Correction - Ernst Haas

blogEntryTopperAmong the first few photo books I got was Ernst Haas 1975 book In America I had seen his work featured in, I would say, a copy of the American magazine Popular Photography and was really excited by it. Shortly after, a photographer friend of mine gave me a copy of Haas' book as a birthday present. Of course I soaked it up. I shot mainly black and white at that time and had just set up a darkroom. But this introduced me to colour, it's language and power and how a great photographer handled it.

Haas died in 1986 and in the intervening years his personal work seems to have got little exposure. So it was, with some excitement, that in 2011 I read that Steidl were to publish a book of Haas' work called Color Correction. At the start of the book, William Ewing explains the title '' I have chosen to use the term metaphorically, to suggest that we owe it to Ernst Haas, and our understanding of the history of colour photography, to re-evaluate his importance in light of this marvelous imagery, kept under wraps for so many years."

The book itself is a model of simple elegance. It's almost square format ( 25.8 x 27.3cm) is ideal to give equal space to both landscape and portrait formats from Haas' kodachromes. The book is also easy to handle. Divided into 12 sections, the work is presented an image per page with a little bit of 'breathing space' around each, (see photo) all the way through. This results in creating a visually quiet setting in which to enjoy these photographs which, by their nature, are poetic visual meditations. One gets a sense of the respect and joy for the world the photographer had. The reproductions are excellent on good quality paper. The book contains lots of work I had not seen before. Of those I had, it was interesting to see that the cover shot for In America was not used in Color Correction but a variation of it , one where Haas has changed his position slightly and used a wider angle lens resulting in, among other things, a repositioning of the reflected flagpoles.


At the time of writing I believe the first edition is no longer available. Lets hope that it will be back in print soon again. It's a book I treasure and highly recommend to anyone especially those who have come across his work on the web and would like to have a book of his work. Steidl’s publication sets a high standard.

More background
Ernst Haas philosophy
Alex Haas interview about his fathers work

" Whatever the eye sees there is always sound "

The above quote is from the wonderful musician Evelyn Glennie, said during her TED Talk a few years ago. I have included this inspiring talk here as I feel much of what she has to say could equally be adopted to the photographer who is on the creative path. If you substitute ‘seeing’ for ‘listening’ she makes the case for developing our sensitivities, going beyond the printed page, the 'score'. For us photographers our 'scores' can be our formulated ideas and concepts of the world, which can limit our vision and therefore inhibit our expression.

Gensis -"My love letter to the Planet" Salgado

I’ve used a big photo of the cover of Sebastiáo Salgado’s latest book Genesis, because it is a big in size and scope! To be published in early April 2013, I’ve pre ordered my copy of this hardback edition with 17 fold-outs, 35 x 24cm in size and 520 pages. Published by Taschen who I’m sure will live up to their usual very high standards of production, at an exceptional price of €50 (€35 approx. from Amazon UK at time of writing). Of course you could go for the even bigger collectors edition but the standard edition will do me just fine. Large books can be difficult to handle and weight can become a problem.

The book is being launched to coincide with the opening of Salgado’s Genesis exhibition in the the Natural History Museum, London. This will run from April 11 through September 8, 2013. (details here ) and if the photos I saw in the Gallery of Photography in Dublin in 2012 are anything to go by they will be big and bigger 60x 40 inch and larger. So if in London between those dates it is a ‘must see’ if you are familiar with this photographer’s work.
Gensis is the result of an 8 year long project by Salgado to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society. The book is arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia and Pantanal. “Some 46% of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis,” Salgado reminds us. “We must preserve what exists.”
If unfamiliar with Sabastiáo Salgado work, it may be worth pointing out that all previous books and exhibitions were in black and white. So if you expect to see some colour photography included in Genesis, especially considering it’s subject matter, you will be disappointed. Check out Omnibus documentary from1993
Artsy Salgado info page