I love photobooks, there so many good books, this is like asking a wino his favorite wine. Here are a few of my favorites and some that really surprised me this year. If you want more, see our book-of-the-month selection for Charcoal Book Club.
In his second monograph, Maine, Briechle turns up the clarity and shows us a sickly, oversaturated image of the state of Maine and its people trying to make it through the endless winter. It’s a little grimy, a little unsettling - it feels like it could be a storyboard for a Stephen King novel.
Longtime fan of Raymond’s work. This book brings to the forefront his ability to invest every object and situation he encounters with a poetic insight. It's beautiful, surprising, and yet feels like a memory from long ago.
This book is everything you could ask for: striking, intimate, unsettling, comforting, and a beautiful object to hold.
I can’t get enough Steinmetz, his endless archive, and his wonderful print quality books. Just Mark being Mmark, which is fabulous.
Gritty but beautiful. I love the bate and switch of this book. At first you think he is a casual observer estheticizing poverty and dysfunction (not unfamiliar territory for art photographers), but then at the end you discover these photos are loving and humorous portraits of his family. He is witness and participant.
Beautiful work beautifully printed. The men and locations remind of the people I grew up around in West Virginia. It is refreshing to be painted a picture (even most likely fictional) of grace and love of these people instead of hatred or misunderstanding.
The wilt press boys always seem to surprise and delight. This magically dark field guide makes my imagination tingle.
Jesse Lenz is the proprietor of Charcoal Book Club. He lives in Ohio and has 20 kids. (its actually 4 i think... but who can keep up.) he is also the person behind the Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review, which you can apply for until Friday!