It’s that time of the year again when all the quality newspaper give their rundowns of the year. This week, The Sunday Times (UK), featured Martin Parr’s Best Photography Books of 2007, which made for interesting reading. With Parr’s PhotoBook History books (together with Gerry Badger) now being considered the leading authority on rare photography books, the article was particularly pertinent to collectors.
© Stephen Gill
With his heady mix of documentary and conceptual photography, Gill has developed into one of the UK’s most prolific photographers. His website, featuring a large array of his quirky series, is well worth a look although it’s a shame the images aren’t a bit larger.
Other books to get the Parr nod of approval included The Mother of All Journeys by Dinu Li, Welcome to Pyongyang by Charlie Crane and I’m a Real Photographer by Keith Arnatt. The retrospective of Arnatt’s work at the Photographer’s Gallery, London, which was my favourite exhibit at the venue this year, featured a wide overview of his work - his “Objects from a Rubbish Tip” was particularly impressive up close. Other books highlighted included were Paul Graham’s massive and highly collectible A Shimmer of Possibility, Alec Soth’s Fashion Magazine and Taryn Simon’s An American Index of The Hidden and Unfamiliar.
Compare Parr’s engaging round-up with the Guardian’s awful photography books of the year feature last week (Tiffany Colored Gems anyone?). The Guardian did at least feature The Genius of Photography, Gerry Badger’s book to accompany the BBC series. The series has been essential viewing over the past 6 weeks, and was surely enough to get any photography-loving Brit waving his Union Jack.