Photobooks of 2021: Ed Templeton

 Cammie Toloui

Encampment Wyoming by Laura Web Nichols - FW:books

My favorite of the year. It’s an incredible time capsule of a bygone America seen from a woman’s perspective.

Headed West by Paul McDonaugh, Stanley Barker

My favorite kind of photo book: A look into the archive of a “not-as-famous-as-he-should-be” street photographer who worked in the heyday of street photography. This book finds Mr. McDonaugh driving west across the USA and finding himself mostly in California shooting people enjoying a summer on the sun drenched coast. If you are a fan of classic street photography, composition, and the human condition, get this one.

What She Said by Deanna Templeton, Mack

I know she is my wife, and I designed the book, but I’m not going to leave it to chance that somebody else will recognize Deanna’s great work. So please look past my obvious bias and look at the book and judge for yourself. This book’s skeleton consists of Deanna’s teenage diary entries in the 1980’s which painfully detail in short bursts the experience she had growing up in a dysfunctional family in the middle of the California suburbs. She dealt then with many of the same issues young women deal with today. The muscle and organs filling out this skeleton are modern portraits of young women who reminded Deanna of her youth. These straightforward photographs of women today paired with her text connects the decades between the two revealing a poignant truth about growing up female in this world.

Sasuke by Masahisa Fukase, Atelier EXB

By far the best book about a pet that I have seen. Sasuke is an incredible documentary photography experience involving a beloved few cats and the antics or lack thereof they get into. Film photos are shown full frame and richly printed. It shows what a highly developed eye and loads of attention can do. You might think. “How many photos of a cat can I handle?” but I assure you this book never gets old and keeps surprising as you turn through.

Irish Work by Tom Wood, RRB

I’m a huge Tom Wood fan and this is the second year one of his books has made my list. This new book, Irish Work, is a thick and deep look at 47 years of shooting in the country of his birth with over 200 previously unpublished photos. As a fan I’m happy to see all of this work, but also think it could have hit harder if it was edited down a bit more. This book features plenty of landscapes, and different formats, but of course still has a healthy dose of Wood’s unique way of seeing and capturing his fellow humans

Godlis streets by David Godlis, Real Art Press

Down and dirty street photography from the streets of New York just like I like it. 

Asia Calling by Edward Grazda, PowerHouse

I’m a huge fan of scrapbook style books and this collection from Grazda is couched like a notebook but is actually a pretty straightforward photobook spanning 17 years of documentary style shooting in Asia.  

Town of C by Richard Rothman, Stanley Barker

His sister Book to Redwood Saw (2011) follows a similar vein of landscape photography mixed with stoic portraits and uncanny nudes. Really there’s not much more I can say - you should read Blake Andrew’s brilliant review of it on Collector Daily: 

Laurel Mountain Laurel by Jake Reinhart, Deadbeat Club

Photographs shot between 2015 and 2020 around the Youghiogheny River watershed, the traditional lands of the Monongahela, Shawnee, Seneca, Delaware and Erie people. Rich and lush color landscapes (and some people too) showing the scars and decay of long gone industry and neglect.

Wild Flowers by Joel Meyerowitz, Damiani

I’m also a fan of typologies. This Meyerowitz book is a perfect example. How nice must it be to have such a massive archive of great work that you can pick one item, such as a flower, and arrange an amazing photo book from the photos you find under that theme? This is a new and expanded version of his famous 1983 book, so if you missed the OG one, get this one for your collection!

Non Recensiti by Gabriele Basilico, Humboldt Books

Another peek at an hitherto unseen archive from the 80s. Basilico was in Rimini, Italy to shoot something else and ended up meeting and befriending a bunch of people from a strip club and gained access with his camera.

Good Morning, America Vol. 3 by Mark Power, GOST

A continuing look at ever (d)evolving America featuring big, rich, juicy color images, some panoramic, that sharply detail the dichotomies and divides happening in this current moment in the USA. Both subtle and blunt, keep an eye open for poignant details that pack a punch or a laugh when discovered.

Arboreal by Virginia Wilcox, Deadbeat Club

Virginia Wilcox’s debut monograph consisting of photographs made in the large Los Angeles parks with trees as a dominant thread throughout.

5 Dollars for 3 minutes by Cammie Toloui, VOID

Very interesting project, super punk. Turning the camera, and the proverbial male gaze, back on the gazer. The photos are performative and seedy.

Ed Templeton (b.1972) is an American painter and photographer whose work reflects human behavior with emphasis on youth subcultures, religious affectation, and suburban conventions using a cinéma vérité approach embracing chance encounters. Templeton is a respected cult figure in the subculture of skateboarding, a two-time world-champion, and Skateboarding Hall of Fame inductee. He is best known for his photographic books and multimedia exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in museums worldwide including MOCA, Los Angeles, ICP, NYC, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco. His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, SMAK Museum Belgium, Orange County Museum of Art, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht


5 Dollars for 3 minutes by Cammie Toloui, VOID
Wild Flowers by Joel Meyerowitz, Damiani
Irish Work by Tom Wood, RRB

Joel Meyerowitz

Tom Wood