Snapped Books 02

Photography books we loved this quarter.

LaChapelle Land
David LaChappelle
Published by Channel Photographics
ISBN: 978-0976-67080-3

The glossy re-issue of this long out of print edition is still at the top of our list. Opening a box shifting with Tadanori Yakoo’s saturated design to LaChappelle’s surreal premonitions is like opening a debauched board game into his L.A-Wonderland. The rocket-fuelled colour, razor edged celebrity and consumer decadence spins a vortex at the edge of collapse. LaChapelle’s Warhol proximity is ever present in his startling perspective and impacting composition. An unmatched collectible, LaChapelle Land still throws a dizzying punch.

Prospects of Babel: New Imagery from Congo
Published by Halide
ISBN: 978-06-2-0407427

The initiative of Greg Marinovich, Prospects of Babel is a collection of riveting photographs re-evaluating perspectives on Congo. It includes, among others, Leonie Marinovich, Muntu Vilakasi, Gary Knight and of course Pieter Hugo in a publication that reveals a nation challenged by political and social tensions but surprising in its social and cultural complexity. Pulitzer prize winning photographer and co-writer of The Bang Bang Club, Marinovich edits a beautiful collection of Congo’s present day mysteries.

Portraits of African Writers
George Hallet
Published by Transaction
ISBN: 978-1868-1438-63

Over a hundred black and white images taken by Cape Town based photographer George Hallet detail the past half centuries African writers. Showing predominantly South African writers, the attentive chronology traces the changing political and social contexts of literature produced here, as well as offering the altering importance and impact of authors from the 1960’s onwards. Hallett’s emphatic lens won him a Golden Eye from the World PressPhoto Award for his photo essay following Nelson Mandela during the 1994 elections.

The Fourth Wall
Amy Arbus
Published by Welcome Books
ISBN: 978-0976-67080-3

Charging the lens with the disconnection between performance and reality Amy Arbus brings some of Broadway and Hollywood’s most recognisable actors out of the wings and into the daylight. In her dislocating black and white she plots these very “now” actors in their classic thespian roles leaving the viewer with traces of her mothers curiosity and her fathers career. Amy is daughter to photographer Diane Arbus and actor Allen Arbus and her collection of back stage inquisition grapples with the realities of being in and out of the spotlight and flash.