Have you been dismantled by 2016? Between the fractures of the political sphere, and the losses of major music icons like Sharon Jones, David Bowie, Prince, Juan Gabriel, Malik Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest, Leonard Cohen, Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire, and George Michael, it’s as if the world wants to cave in on itself.
And if that wasn’t enough to break our culture clogged hearts, we also lost actors and actresses we held dear like Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fischer, Florence Welsh of the Brady Bunch, Anton Yelchin, Alan Rickman, and Gene Wilder amongst many others, respectively.
Honestly, 2016 sucked. So to soften the blow I’ve rounded up 6 great photo books by women photographers who are sure to show us that this relentless, hard hitting year can still end beautifully.
Sonder is a submission sent in to us by Italian photographer Rossella Castello, whose journey of asking an old woman named Violet for her portrait while in London led her to establishing authentic connections with otherwise total strangers. Yet the power behind creating a portrait led Rossella to four other individuals, each one subsequently leading her to someone else, creating an exponential effect on the young photographer.
Each book is a journey from beginning to end, from one initial character to many others.
Currently this title is out of print, but a new release of Sonder is soon to become available on Rosella’s website here.
What is a young girls connection to the camera? Photographer Rania Matar captures girls between the ages of 8 and 13, depicting them in deeply personal and poetic ways. Her book L’Enfant-Femme addresses themes of representation, voyeurism and transgression, all the while reminding us of the fragility of youth while also gesturing toward its unbridled curiosity and joy. Photographing girls in the Middle East and the United States, Matar makes us examine our universality, a beauty that transcends place, background and religion. Candidly capturing her subjects at a critical juncture in the early stages of adolescence, Matar conveys the confluence of angst, sexuality and personhood that defines the progression from childhood into adulthood.
L’Enfant-Femme is Rania Matar’s third book and is available for purchase here.
Cosmic Surgery is an oddly whimsical filled 48 pages of delightful origami pop up portraits photographed and hand crafted by none other than Alma Haser. Her process involves three steps: photographing the subject, printing multiple copies of the portrait for origami making, and finally re-photographing the work with her origami set in place to create the final image.
With the simple act of folding an image, or ‘origamify’ as Alma puts it best, she is able to transform each face into something of her own creation.
Purchase Cosmic Surgery here for me, for a friend, or maybe even for yourself.
Looking For Alice
By Sian Davey
Looking For Alice is the powerful award-winning project by British photographer Sian Davey, which tells the story of her daughter Alice and their family. Alice was born with Down’s Syndrome, but is no different to any other little girl or indeed human being. She feels what we all feel. Their family is also like many other families, and Sian’s portraits of Alice and their daily life are both intimate and familiar. “My family is a microcosm for the dynamics occurring in many other families. Previously as a psychotherapist I have listened to many stories and it is interesting that what has been revealed to me, after fifteen years of practice, is not how different we are to one another, but rather how alike we are as people. It is what we share that is significant. The stories vary but we all experience similar emotions.”
Own a signed hard copy of Looking For Alice
via Trolley Books
Olive Juice is a monograph made by Molly Matalon in collaboration with photographer Damien Maloney. Together they have created part road trip journal part romantic travel memoir, Olive Juice situates the viewer somewhere between the backseat of a moving car and the edge of a motel bed. Presented as a non-linear narrative of still life, portraits, and landscapes, Olive Juice explores notions of friendship, intimacy, and gender, and ultimately confronts the ambiguities of representation in photography.
You can snag a copy of Olive Juice via Vuu Studio.
In our popular media, we rarely view honest depictions of intimacy. Sometimes they scratch the surface, but often don’t go deeper and further. These intimate scenes (in popular media) tend to also be created with idealized people with idealized bodies, leaving many of us feeling unseen and unimportant. Intimate is an exploration of these relationships – be it a platonic friend, a stranger from the internet, a sexual partner (current or from the past) a deep love or something blossoming and new and all the relationships in between. The possibilities are abundant, ever changing and beautiful.
Intimate is Lauren Crow’s first book, and is currently available for purchase here.