Photobooks of 2020: Matt Stuart

Trent Parke

Fordlandia 9 by JM Ramirez-Suassi, self-published

Photographs made on film between 2017 and 2019 mainly in the states of Parâ Amazonas and Mato Grosso where Ford Motors set up a factory which was eventually shut down and where capitalism failed! A fantastic photographer and book maker, snatching the strange and surreal from the everyday. This edition was 350, 200 more than his last book. When these get published you have to move fast before they disappear!

Crimson Line by Trent Parke, Stanley/Barker

I had the privilege/chore of waking up at 5.30am whilst staying at Trent and Narelle’s house and rushing at break neck speed to Port Adelaide to watch Parke chase the smoke and the light from these chimneys. I don’t think I have ever met an artist whose energy and creativity is so electric when he has a project to chew on. This book will be another classic and a ground breaker in the photography world.

Mutatio by Thomas Maneke, self-published

One of the best Dutch photographers working today, every book he has published is golden, his latest self published “Mutatio” is the best so far, b&w photographs taken around his home town of Amsterdam including personal photos of his family.

Perfect Strangers by Melissa O’Shaughnessy, Aperture

Great to see this street photography book come to life, after many years of looking at books made by men photographing in New York, finally we have a book by a woman, the pictures ooze style and grace and look different to her male counterparts photographs which is a very good thing. Wonderful sense of gesture and colour, certain to become a classic of the genre.

Early Sunday Morning by Peter Mitchell, RRB

Published by RRB books this is a beautifully printed and designed retrospective of Peters work shot in and around a broken and decrepit Leeds. Everything RRB do is extremely good, even down to how the package it arrived in is wrapped.

Perfect Day by Txema Salvans, Mack

I’ve never met Txema but we have a nice instagram relationship! I was excited to receive this new book which doesn’t disappoint, all shot around Spain, people chilling out by the sea having Perfect Days, doing the strangest things. Shot on colour negative with a tripod. Hard work pays off.

Estudio elemental del Levante by Ricardo Cases

One of the most creative photographers working in Spain, this book based amongst other things around music and diseased palm trees is a musical score! The book is also scored and cut and chopped to create a wonderful collage. Extremely creative and different, a jewel.

Event by Matthew Beck, J&L

This is a story about the black hole photograph that was released to the world in April 2019. Beck cleverly interweaves the black hole day newspaper coverage shot on the subway with other subway photographs elevating the photos from merely a group of photos taken on the subway into a dark and anxious narrative about the black holes that people are traveling in and reading about. This elevates the photographs to something more lyrical and metaphorical, surely the way “street photography” should be heading.

Love’s Labour by Sergio Purtell, Stanley/Barker

Stanley Barker have a knack of uncovering unknown diamonds! Every summer from the late 1970s through the mid ’80s Sergio would buy a cheap roundtrip ticket from New York to London, and from there get a Eirorail pass. Traveling cheaply, he could move freely around Europe. Wonderful b&w photographs by an unknown (to me) photographer. Excited to see more books coming from him over the next few years.

Place in Between by Narelle Autio, Stanley/Barker

Narelle swims like a fish and loves the sea, as an almost drowned poor swimmer who hates water I have the utmost respect for her fearless work. Beautiful photographs of swimmers in the sea, I wonder whether they are swimming like fish or drowning like me ;-)? Brilliant work and beautifully designed.

Matt Stuart born in 1974 is a photographer from London who now lives in the Netherlands, He is the author of three books ; All that life can afford, Into the Fire and Think like a street photographer (2021) 

Images: top - Crimson Line by Trent Parke, below - Perfect Strangers by Melissa O’Shaughnessy



Perfect Strangers by Melissa O’Shaughnessy, Aperture