Magnum Digest

The Magnum Digest: January 14, 2021

Our fortnightly round-up of Magnum in the media, this week featuring Gilles Peress, Trent Parke, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Bruce Gilden, Rafal Milach, Werner Bischof, Matt Black and Alex Webb

Matt Black Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. 2016. © Matt Black | Magnum Photos

The Atlantic’s article “The Next Disaster Coming to the Great Plains”, about the region’s “acute scarcity” of water, takes a Matt Black photograph for its featured image. Black also features in The Guardian’s review of 2021’s best photobooks: “an often invisible US emerges powerfully from the pages of Matt Black’s epic American Geography.”

A series of images from Alec Soth’s A Pound of Pictures project, based on a series of road trips he took between 2018 and 2021, is featured in The Guardian.

The New Yorker details how Alessandra Sanguinetti was inspired by an antique photo collection to go “in search of her own American gothic”. Richly illustrated with Sanguinetti’s images, the feature is titled “A Photographer Revisits the Book That Taught Her About Dying”.

Rafal Milach’s I Am Warning You, a book-quadtych dedicated to three different border walls – American-Mexican (#13767), Hungarian-Serbian-Croatian (I Am Warning You) and the Berlin Wall (Death Strip) – features in Wired’s round-up of 2021’s best photography books.

Alessandra Sanguinetti Merrillan Wedding, Alma Center, Wisconsin, USA. 2014. © Alessandra Sanguinetti | Magnum Photos
Alessandra Sanguinetti Black River Falls, Wisconsin, USA. 2014. © Alessandra Sanguinetti | Magnum Photos
Rafal Milach Croatian-Hungarian border at the nature reserve. Matty, Hungary. October, 2019. © Rafal Milach | Magnum Photos
Rafal Milach International Border Guard training organized by Hungarian police and military forces. Veszprem, Hungary. October, 2019. © Rafal Milach | Magnum Photos

Whatever You Say, Say Nothing by Gilles Peress and Annals of the North by Peress and Chris Klatell continue to be named in lists of the best books of 2021. 

1000 Words magazine says what Peress has achieved “is astonishing and surely must rank amongst the highest feats in photobook history,” asserting that the book “expresses – like a photographic Finnegan’s Wake – what is elsewhere – or rather, everywhere; the simultaneity of good and evil; the push and pull of power; the helicoidal unravelling of time.” 

The Guardian calls the publication the “photography book event of the year”; Nearest Truth says, “It is the book of the year. It’s incredible . . . there’s no real comparison for those books for a long time. It has changed my feeling about the effectiveness of photography”; and Magnum photographers Martin Parr, Mark Power and Alec Soth all name it their favorite book of the year, Parr proclaiming, “This is the most thorough and brilliant documentary project I have ever seen.”

Werner Bischof Shinto priests at Meiji Jingu. Tokyo, Japan. 1951. © Werner Bischof | Magnum Photos

Trent Parke’s image of a toy Santa peeping from a cardboard box features as The Observer New Review’s ‘Big Picture’, with a short write-up by Tim Adams. Alex Soth’s image of a moth has also recently been the subject of the same column.

AnOther Magazine interviews Bruce Gilden about his recent publication Cherry Blossom, which documents subcultures in Tokyo and Osaka.

The Guardian covers Werner Bischof’s long and fruitful creative relationship with Japan in a photo essay titled “‘I go too far, too deep’: the Swiss wanderer who found the soul of Japan In 1951”.

Vogue’s feature about Rep. Jamie Raskin – “On Surviving A Double Blow of Tragedy and Finding the Strength to Lead” – is illustrated with Alex Webb’s photography.

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