Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Photo:Box" Edited by Roberto Koch

If I could afford this book, I would own it. This is the ultimate "coffee table" book, comprised of 250 of the world's greatest photographs by the world's greatest Photographers.

From Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, to the European photographers such as Nino Migliori and Edouard Boubat, the entire field of photographic art is covered in these pages. And the packaging! The book is printed on high quality stock and bound in book fashion with an interesting twist- the front cover folds over and closes the book magnetically, ensuring that the pages remain untainted and crisp.

The book is organized in such a way that you are exposed to the things you would normally not look at. I'm more apt to dwell on Dorothea Langes' "Migrant Mother-California 1936" or any of the other contemporary photos than let's say something ultra modern. By dividing the photos into categories the editor forces the reader to look at all the photos. And it's funny- something that you think would not be of interest to you suddenly becomes art.

Each oppossing page contains the story behind the picture and at the bottom a brief biography of the photographer. This adds depth to the photo, in that it allows you to stand in the photographers shoes for a second and "feel" the moment. For instance, when I look at Eddie Adams photo "General Loan Executing a Viet Cong" I grimace with the South Vietnamese soldier standing on the Generals left. I never had that reaction to this photo before. I never noticed him before.

The Categories listed are Reportage, War, Potraits, Nudes, Women, Travel, Cities, Art, Fashion, Still Life, Sports, and Nature. The photos span 3 continents over the last 150 years or so. The earliest photo is of Paris in 1838. The latest is 2008 and I don't understand it. This is an amazing collection and not to be missed.

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