Photobooks of 2022: Matt Stuart

Sorry I gave birth I disappeared but now I am back by Andi Galdi Vinko

What an incredible year for photobooks -  I could go on for pages, but let’s just dive in; here are just a few of my favourites in no particular order:

Sorry I gave birth I disappeared but now I am back by Andi Galdi Vinko, Trolley Books

A hilarious tragic comedy about being a mum, having a baby and putting your life on hold. One of the funniest and most endearing photo books I have seen in a long time. Beautifully designed and printed, some of the photos are laugh out loud, others will make you cry like a baby.

The Ecology of Dreams by Ewan Telford, The Velvet Cell

An ode to the City of Angels. The book that inspired me most and made me jealous in equal quantities. Great photos, great design, great concept. Perfect.

Chris Killip Retrospective, Thames & Hudson

The book that says it all! A tribute to the master photographer who died in 2020. Designed beautifully by Niall Sweeney, Ken Grants writing is hearfelt and interesting, printed very well by Steidl and spread around the world by publisher Thames & Hudson. I think it is one of the best photography retrospectives I’ve seen. Not too long, not too short, just right. You can sense the effort and love that has been put into this by all parties. Congratulations to all involved.

Hafiz by Sabiha Çimen, Redhook Editions

Sabiha has hit this year running! Magnum Associate and Aperture First Photobook Prize. A book showing three years spent in five girls schools based in Turkey. The book opens like a box of chocolates (or should I say Turkish delight!) A remarkable work, fantastic design, printing & construction. All round amazing, a modern day classic, Magnum are lucky to have found such treasure..

Cue the Sun by Trent Parke, Stanley Barker

This shows what can be done in less than a month, if you know what you are doing and are extremely good at it!  A whistle stop cricket tour through India produced this concertina style day/night delight. With a nod to The Truman Show and the future, that we are, or are not embracing. The Trent train keeps steaming on!.

This Golden Mile by Kavi Pujara, Setanta Books

It has been great to follow Kavi on his journey from the beginning through to the completion of this work. Photographs from the Golden Mile in Leicester. Kavi’s beautiful portraiture and understanding of the community shines through. A wonderful book designed by Tom Booth Woodger who seems to own the Midas touch. Printed at Mas Matbaa in Turkey who also don’t screw things up! All round first class.

How I Met Jiro by Chloe Jafe, Self Published

This is the third and final segment of Jafé’s Japanese trilogy. Handmade edition of 30 exquisite books. This is an ode to the fallen of Osaka. Chloe traveled extensively in the district of Nishinari, a place erased from tourist guides that contains a population mainly made up of men, aged over 60 years old. She met and photographed homeless, transvestites, retirees from banditry and those released from capitalism who preferred to hide, rather than face the shame of being fired. A masterclass in photobook making.

NA4J0PM8 by Igor Chekachkov

A corrupted hard drive holding years worth of personal photographs is recovered, but the files, like the country have been attacked. The recovered files are shown in all of their corrupted beauty, the book a very clever concept. With spliced pages and overlaps. A genuinely exciting new prospect.

Minor Mysteries by Hans van der Meer, FW Books

A book that I profess to have been involved with, the work is classic street photography made in Budapest 1985. Hans sensitivity for the micro moment and gesture is as good as it gets. A brilliant body of work and a beautiful book designed by Hans Gremmen. A must have for any street photographers library.

Common Place by Scott Rossi, Pomegranate Press and Guest Editions

A wonderful look at Central Park and some of its quirkier residents and landscapes. Love the design and length of the book, great edit and just enough to tell it all as it is. Rossi is an exciting talent, excited to see what comes next.

Honorable Mention:

Another Fucking Photobook, MacDonald Strand 

Not really a photobook, but it delivers the truth in spades. Great sense of humour or the truth that hurts? Probably a bit of both.

Matt Stuart is a photographer, publisher and curator living in the Netherlands. Over the last 25 years there is not a day that Matt hasn’t flicked through a photobook. He’s totally addicted.

Sorry I gave birth I disappeared but now I am back by Andi Galdi Vinko, Trolley Books
The Ecology of Dreams by Ewan Telford, The Velvet Cell

The Ecology of Dreams by Ewan Telford, The Velvet Cell