Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lenswork Monographs

I recently received my first Lenswork Monograph Made Of Steel. First let me comment on the idea and execution of monographs, and then this particular volume.

I had felt a larger size would be nice but in fact when the book arrived, I felt it was just the right size. Quality of the printing is as usual superb. The only thing missing is an option to subscribe to the whole series as I'm sure to want every one of them. I have some reservations about doing an entire book about a single project. My preference would be to lean towards retrospectives of a photographers best work which might well include several projects or genres. I guess it depends on whether you think the subject or the image is paramount. I'm quite sure that others won't feel the same and that's just fine.

That Brooks Jensen is able to produce these monographs as inexpensively by tagging them on to the print run for Lenswork itself is brilliant and Brooks is to be congratulated on a wonderful idea.

I have seen and enjoyed many of the images from Made Of Steel before, from Lenswork and especially from Brooks website but it is a delight to see this as a single publication. Many of the portraits are remarkable. Some of the tool photographs are fine artisitic images while others are more illustrative. That said, as a statement about a disappearing part of modern society, this is an important book and gives a great insight into the places and the people, fast fading from the modern landscape.

I`ll be signing up for the whole series.

1 comment:

Merg Ross said...

George, I too received the initial monograph and have congratulated Brooks on the concept and execution.

I am in agreement with you regarding the single project approach, and have spoken with Brooks on the subject. My thought is that a particular way of seeing can in itself be a substitute for a project. Next year will be my 60th "behind the lens", and surely the retrospective approach would best represent me in exhibition or print. Of course, to be represented by a LensWork monograph is just a dream with very long odds!

When Brooks invited me last year to be included in LensWork #93, we decided on a theme of abstractions -- not really a single project, as the work spanned the years 1953-2010, but yet was cohesive.

Made of Steel is very well done and a wonderful start to the series. I absorbed the content in a single sitting and came away with a real admiration for the people portrayed, and for Brooks' vision. The bar has been set high with this initial monograph!

As you suggest, a whole series subscription offer would be good. Lodima Press has done so with their offering of the Brett Weston Portfolio series. Brooks is a clever fellow, and perhaps has something similar in mind.

Best regards,