The Best Photobooks of the Year: Martin Parr takes his pick
Photographer and photobook expert Martin Parr selects the best titles published this year
What a total treat! Here we have all the classic iconic images from this wonderful photographer who died only last year. On top of that, Agnes Sire has dug up many unknown Larrains that are as good as the ones we know and love. To supplement all of this is a most elegant design from the excellent Xavier Barral with stunning printing. It doesn’t get much better than this.
The ever enterprising RM Verlag publishers have come up with another gem here: PIGS, which stands for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the near bankrupt European countries. The format, based on the graphics of The Economist, is used to house the images of the above countries that are starting to fray at the edges.
Another zine which echoes a magazine format, this time Hello! magazine. The subject is the struggle for the liberation of three generations of refugees in the Sahara desert. So we are invited to go in[side] various tents, meet families etc, all in the style of Hello!. This, together with some brilliant pastiche ads, makes one the best photographic statements of the year.
This glossy book with an accumulation of flash-snatched scenes of both people and cars taken from all angles weaves itself into a brilliant and somewhat disturbing narrative.
This young Italian living in East London near the most culturally diverse market in London has produced a great book showing both his constructed still lifes of goods from the market and assorted head shots, both abstract and real. He also throws in some market scenes and the work is all housed in a delicious book with African material on the cover. A heady mix of colour, food and portraits that brilliantly depict Ridley Road Market.
This project, undertaken for the Rijksmuseum, examines the food industry with the rigour of a scientist analysing the strange processes that make up this industry. With the single word captions such as ‘scrubbing’ and ‘by-product’ it’s enough to put you off your dinner.
With a combination of re-staged and flashed scenes, Rasen Kaigan explores the territory of and harks back to the tsunami of recent times.
Great production from Editions Bessard works perfectly with the writing and photography of Australia’s great roving tourist-cum-artist.
Thomas Sauvin, who has accumulated over two tons of negatives bought from a man on a Beijing trip and worked to categorise them into this set of five books. Topics include subjects such as TV and fridges.
This tour of the remaining British territories, many of which are godforsaken outposts in the Atlantic is a wonderful study of island life. A mixture of portraits and landscapes, together with the stories associated with the scenes, provide both an entertaining and rather melancholy take.
PIGS, by Carlos Spottorno, published by RM Verlag/Phree
Karma, by Óscar Monzón, published by RVB/Dalpine
Vagabond Photographer, by Sergio Larrain, published by Thames & Hudson
Rasen Kaigan by Leiko Shiga, published by Akaaka