Monday, January 5, 2009

A Good Browse

There's nothing like a good browse through a bookstore and this weekend I found myself passing by Rizzoli on West 57th Street where they not only have a terrific photo section on the second floor, but one that's laid out horizontally so you can see a long line of covers rather than spines. First stop, however, was downstairs where Kelly Klein's latest opus, "Horse" was displayed on an impressive pedestal. Yet another oversize book, it is nonetheless admirably edited and printed and full of surprises like the above Herb Ritts picture of Pee-Wee Herman. I'd forgotten how funny Ritts (and Pee-Wee) could be and this picture is a rarity in that it's a set-up that's nevertheless still funny. (I have a thing about how unfunny most set-up pictures of comedians tend to be.) The funniest pictures are usually the most spontaneous accidents imaginable.

If any one has a larger j-peg of the above picture please e-mail it to me at

I'm just going to point out one other book, which upon further investigation seems to be over a year old, a surprise given how good it is. "Books of Nudes" by Alessandro Bertolotti, is a Martin Parr/Gerry Badger style round-up of the best books on nude photography from the earliest days of photobooks to the present. Presented in a completely non-salacious manner, each book is shown with its original cover and a selection of photographs laid out on double-page spreads. Organized both chronologically and by category, the most riveting chapter for me was on Japanese books of the 1960s and 1970s, from which the image above comes. I'm afraid I did not note the photographer, but that should encourage you (and me) to buy the book - now $26 (down from $50) at Amazon.

A quick internet search revealed various quibbles about who was included and who was not, but the point for me is that you have to start somewhere.


The Concrete Commentator said...

I just moved to NYC and have never heard of Rizzoli. I live just a couple blocks away. Thank you for this post. I'll have to check it out this week.

stacy said...

that nude shot is outstanding.

rarely do you see such lovely angles in a nude as they're generally all about the curves.

Alice Olive said...

That nude shot is amazing. I went and immediately ordered it from Amazon. Thank you!