Robert Stevens Favourite Photobooks of 2012


Selection made by Robert Stevens – ICP faculty.

1. Jitkta Hanzlova  – The way she sees the world is unique and she believes in verticals – that is the way she sees things, never horizontal

2. SHE: Lise Sarfati – a more focused view of U.S. girls in those years just after high school. This time it is two sisters Sloane and Sasha (seen in other Sarfati book), their mother Christine and her sister Gina. We are left to unravel the mystery of changing hair color and the meaning of where and why they pause for Sarfati’s camera.
TR681.W6 . S231 2012

3. Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict, by Stephen Ferry — raw, newsprint, sparing none of the reality of factionally violent Colombia. Too big to easily get away from – doesn’t fit on most book shelves, the way Ferry wants it – you can’t escape it. You must face it.
TR820.6 .F472 2011

4. Avedon: Murals and Portraits, by Mary Panzer — even more memorabilia and photos from Avedon when you were thinking it was all out there in scores of books over the years, but no. But there was more and here it is. For fans and fanatics of Avedon the chance to savor more of the multifaceted photographer.
TR140 .A93 2012

5. Photography Changes Everything, by Marvin Heiferman — a brilliant book of thoughts by one of the all time smart thinkers about images and the visual culture that dominates are life.
TR183 .H54 2012

6. War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, Anne Tucker, Will Michels, Natalie Zelt — a massive book, of over 600 pages and weighing in at almost 10 pounds, this is a very serious study of war and photography as never done before. What is great about this book is it is not just iconic, decisive images. It is not about the photographs made when bombs explode and people scream and die. There is everything else here. There is the announcement of conflicts; there are the preparations; there is the waiting, and then there is the aftermath and the remembrance. Now you will know that most of conflicts occupy spaces before and after the apocalypse.

7. Old Havana/La Habana Vieja by Chip Cooper and Nestor Marti – not a book on most people’s radar but what makes this a must is these two men, one from the United States and one from Cuba, see the city with their vision. This is not a book about old cars and other cute, cliche Cuban must-photograph kitsch subjects. It is about how two men recorded what got their attention. They didn’t just capture the city frozen in time like a million other photographers but saw it with their unique minds.

8. Uncle Charlie, by Mark Asnin — not just an many year essay of Asnin’s uncle but a tour de force of how to to tell a story in a book, how to make the world around you and the book disappear as Asnin takes you into Charlie’s room and life. One of the best photo biographies ever printed!
TR140 .A882 2012

9. Kodachrome, Luigi Ghirri — a master piece of shocking, arresting colors by a photographer near impossible to define but one you clearly saw things the rest of us missed.
TR140 .G533 2012

10. The Americans – Jason Eskanazi – Finally, in print, how some of the world’s most visionary photographers were inspired by one Robert Frank photo and how and why.

Robert Stevens is the former editor, Life Picture Collection; former international photo editor, Time Magazine; writer; former correspondent, Paris Photo Magazine; faculty, School of Visual Arts; trustee, W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.
Robert is also the author of Yvon’s Paris (2010).
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/books/review/Weber-2-t.html

About Deirdre Donohue

Stephanie Shuman Librarian International Center of Photography Follow on Twitter @icplibrary
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