Humble Arts has published at the end of 2008 an informative softcover publication, Collectors Guide to Emerging Art Photography. This is by no means inclusive of all of the emerging fine art photographers, but it does provide an interesting selection of many photographers who are starting to create a presence.
This 10 1/4 x 13″ softcover, 180 page book does provide a brief glimpse of each of the 163 photographers selected by the curators of this special edition book, Alana Celii, Jon Feinstein & Grant Willing. What I like about this large size book is the ample amount of room that allows the photographs to be seen and more critically reviewed on the wonderful printed luster pages. What I don’t like about this large book is knowing where to put it, although resting on its spine, I can get it pretty much out of traffic.
Like wise, one photograph per photographer is enough only to just tease the appetite, but that may be the point, eh? I did find that it did take only one photograph to provide enough information to determine who were the social exterior (landscape) photographers from those who provide the intimate people photographs, and those who subtly manipulated the two dimensional “reality” to those who created completely new realities. And those who did not fit nicely in pre-defined categories, which was nice.
The selection as noted above, was very broad and nicely balanced, although there were a minimum of heavily manipulated alternate reality photographs. Some of the names may even seem a bit familiar to be classified as “emerging” part, such as Amy Stein, to the very unknown or some in between such as Liz Kuball. Also interesting that the book’s curatorsthought enough of themselves to jury each other into the book, which question’s some of the books objectivity. Nevertheless, I appreciate the international representation within the book, looking beyond the US borders, although there is a heavy US presence in the book.
A nice reference book, as it may help with linking a briefly seen image while cruizing the web with a name. And it always seems that those brief glimpses create memories that be-devil you later, as just who was that photographer?
Best regards, Douglas Stockdale
Thanks so much for the review. Your honesty and objectivity is appreciated tremendously.
I’d like to clear up a couple points as I’m sure they will continue to come up as more and more people receive the book.
The decision to include our own work in the book was a tough one that we gave a great deal of thought to before the final publication. As Humble’s curatorial director I’ve always excluded my own work from our exhibitions, largely on the basis that it was unfair to the larger community of emerging artists, and also that I saw it as a something that was biased and a potential cheapening of the overall curatorial process. With “The Guide,” however, Alana, Grant and I decided that it was fair to include our own work as a kind of reward for the countless hours spent selecting artists and curating the book. Since we are a not profit and this was an unpaid venture, we felt it was a justified reward, but I’m entirely with you on the general need to exclude one’s own work from the curatorial process.
We looked at the overall project as a filter for the vast and often obtuse world of blogs and emerging photo institutions online and as a visual “Cliff’s Notes” that will help the decision makers of the art photo world.