Last winter I got a request from Aline Smithson (Lenscratch) to contribute to a Kickstarter project to help fund her new book Self & Others. I didn't hesitate. Although I have never met Aline, she has written frequently about my work, written pieces about various shows over the years and done her part to promote my photography (here). I believe it is safe to say that Aline is Lenscratch, the daily blog about photography and photographers. Hers is a widely read and important blog as many follow it to hear what is good, what is new and to see who deserves attention. And here she was asking for my support. Quick Pro Quo.
So I threw some money into Kickstarter to show my support and promptly forgot about it. But I returned from being away recently to find a cardboard box and in it her new book.
This is what it looked like before I opened it:
(note the sticker holding the blue tissue paper wrapper closed)
with a card on top that said:
While it is always nice to receive a book I had little idea what to expect. But looking at it sitting there, before I opened it, I could tell I was in for something special.
When was the last time you saw gold leaf on the edge of the pages?
I opened it up to find that Aline had signed itand that my friend and museum director Paula Tognarelli had written the introduction
and to find that the book was arranged in sections in the most beautiful colors,
with a rich reddish orange at the start and the end.Now this would all be for nought if Aline's photographs weren't good but they are, in fact they're exceptional. Why aren't I showing you her actual work? Because it would do a disservice to her photographs to see them in this format, tiny little thumbnails on your smartphone. You will need to get this book yourself to see them. But trust me when I say they are exceptional: beautiful and profound but also funny and poignant.
What a pleasure; a book created with real care, beautifully printed, made to be delightful, sensual, colorful, lasting and something to treasure. So wonderful.
Forgive me for going off topic slightly here but I need to speak about community and being within one. Although art photography has become very large there is the sense that we are united within a single discipline and at times need to support each other in the endeavor. Besides quid pro quo there is a need for this kind of mutual support. Without it we will have competing interests, one upmanship and back stabbing. That's why it is importsnt to go to a colleague's opening, a friend's book signing, an artist talk. To show your support and to continue your membership in a community as things can be very lonely and unforgiving if you don't. And, after all, wouldn't you like to see people coming to your event, showing their support for your work and for your efforts? Quick Pro Quo.
BTW: Aline Smithson's work will be shown at the Griffin Museum of Photography in May 2016.
Want to get this lovely book? Go here
You won't regret it.