All posts tagged: GOST Books

Good Sick – Jordan Baumgarten’s local vision of a national opioid crisis

When Jordan Baumgarten and his wife moved into the neighbourhood of Kensington in Philadelphia in 2013, they were shocked by what they saw – sex workers, dealers and drug use, all in plain view on the street, with almost no oversight from the police. Faced with these scenes daily on his doorstep, Baumgarten turned to his camera in an attempt to make sense of the area. “Photography forces an interaction and relationship with the world because it demands that you go to a certain place,” he says. Kensington is “a nexus for those in and around the city seeking heroin and all that it entails. It co-exists alongside everyday life in the neighbourhood and its surrounding landscape,” Baumgarten explains. But he adds that while this work focuses on Philadelphia, it addresses a much larger issue: “The city serves as a microcosm to discuss issues tearing apart the fabric of our social landscape.” Born in Philadelphia in 1983, Baumgarten stumbled across photography almost by accident after breaking his leg in 6th grade – keen to keep …


A hallucinatory take on wild desert beauty in Chloe Sells’ book Flamingo

“Seventeen years later and after all that life giveth and taketh away, it is the wildness of the region that attracts me most,” writes artist Chloe Sells of Botswana, the place where she shot her latest book Flamingo. “Botswana is one of the last great completely wild, untouched and quiet corners of the earth.” In particular she was attracted to Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, in the heart of the Kalahari Desert, a strange and harsh, yet beautiful landscape. “I didn’t know that part of Botswana very well,” Sells admits, “but I had visited many times and been amazed by the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans; I knew I wanted to spend more time there.”


Ewen Spencer’s vision of Young Love

“The Face had a different theme every issue and were planning an issue on sex, so Graham Rounthwaite [the art director] said ‘Can you photograph in clubs and sixth form parties and get an idea of young kids’ idea of love?’”says Ewen Spencer. The feature became a regular spot, sometimes shot by Spencer and sometimes by another photographer, a writer going along each time to talk to the kids they found. But it became an ongoing interest for Spencer, who started to pursue it in his own time as well as on commission, and images from the series have now been published as a book by Stanley Barker


Pittsburgh 1950, a long-lost portfolio by Elliot Erwitt

Elliot Erwitt was just 22 years old when he was commissioned to shoot Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the legendary Roy Stryker in 1950. Stryker had won fame and lasting respect for his work with the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s, commissioning photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans to shoot America’s rural heartland at the height of the Depression; by 1950 he was working with a new organisation, the Pittsburgh Photographic Library, charged with shooting the formerly industrial, notoriously polluted city as it transformed into a modern metropolis. Stryker had met Erwitt when the youngster was still studying in New York, and had commissioned him to work on a Standard Oil project alongside photographers such as Berenice Abbott, Gordon Parks and Russell Lee. The young image-maker must have impressed him because, when invited to document Pittsburgh by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Stryker commissioned Erwitt and – unusually for him – gave him free reign to shoot what he liked. Erwitt shot on the project for a year, until he was drafted into …


BJP Staff