Photobooks of 2018: Martin Amis
Some of my favourite photobooks from the past year, in no particular order:
Margins Of Excess by Max Pinckers
A photobook very much of our time, Margins of Excess is spun around the stories of six people who momentarily received nationwide attention in the US press, but were ultimately considered deceivers. Margins of Excess once again showcases Pinckers’ skill as both a photographer and book maker.
Jasper by Mathew Genitempo
One could look long for a better debut photobook. Exquisitely printed and presented, with no shortcuts taken, Jasper is a rare treat.
American Winter by Gerry Johansson
With it’s page after page of Johansson’s perfectly composed photographs of America, American Winter is both bleak and beautiful.
Past K-Ville by Mark Steinmetz
Another photographer with a long line of exemplary photobooks, Mark Steinmetz’ Past K-Ville ranks up there with his much sought-after Atlanta trilogy.
The Portraits by John Myers
This much underappreciated photographer finally gets the recognition he deserves. A classic design brings Myers’ extraordinary photographs to the fore.
Halfstory Halflife by Raymond Meeks
Much has already been written about the brilliance of this book. Meeks’ most accessible book to date, Halfstory Halflife is a sublime piece of work.
TTP by Hayahisa Tomiyasu
A series of photographs of the same ping pong table in a public park may not sound like the most exciting premise. However, thanks to Hayahisa Tomiyasu’s relentless curiousity and uncanny eye for detail, TTP is an unexpected gem.
Martha by Sian Davey
For her follow-up to Looking for Alice, Sian Davey documents her daughter Martha and her friends transition to adulthood. An elegant fluid design and Davey’s powerful portraits combine to make this a most rewarding photobook.
Dream Away by Michael E. Northrup
Dream Away’s striking imagery and abundant humour are balanced by a nagging sadness and growing sense of claustrophobia and uneasiness making it one of the most unique books of recent years.
For my final selection, I will follow Brad Feuerhelm’s lead and mention a few of the other books that were under consideration, these included Women’s Market by Tom Wood, Fast Cities by Morten Andersen, My Journey by Tamiko Nishimura, Tell the Children by Andrea Geremia, reprinted classic Japanese photobook Hiroshima 1965 by Kenji Ishiguro and the equally essential reprint of Michael Schmidt’s Waffenruhe.
Martin Amis founded Photobookstore in 2006, and is rarely more than 10 feet from a pile of photobooks. His first photobook The Gamblers was published in spring 2018 by RRB Publishing, and he is currently working on a second.
Images top: Margins of Excess by Max Pinckers, below – Past K-Ville by Mark Steinmetz, Dream Away by Michael E.Northrup