Photobooks of 2023: Matt Stuart

Monument by Trent Parke, Stanley Barker

Monument by Trent Parke, Stanley Barker

Book of the year, hands down. Apocalyptic, mesmerising, the sequence, photos, production, printing. Stanley Barker are lucky to have him, as are Magnum, as are we. Next level stuff.

Being There by Omar Victor Diop x The Anonymous Project, Textuel

Surprise discovery of the year, bumped into the show at Paris Photo, bought the book immediately. Diop is teleported back in time to disrupt middle America doing their middle American things. Funny, political, brilliantly done. Bravo

Deponie by Tobias Kruse, Spector

Brilliantly sequenced and shot. The feeling of Europe (Germany) lurching to the right…. Another apocalyptic one. Kruse is a huge talent. Discovered via Brad @Ordinarylight a must follow.

I give you my life by Chloe Jafe, the(M) éditions / IBASHO

Finally available to the masses! Jafe’s work in Japan has been brave & bold. Part of a three book series. The first book shows her journey to connect with the Yakuza. From the big boss to wives showing their tattoos, I can’t imagine many people who could get this intimacy and access. Printed beautifully by Robstolk in Amsterdam.

Marseille Allogène by Pierre Belhassen, self-published

An insiders view of Marseille. Photographed beautifully, emotional, sun baked photographs reminiscent of Webb & Gruyaert (high praise!). Belhassen is a talent to watch out for, where next?!

A Question of Colour by Joel Meyerowitz, Thames & Hudson

What happens when you load two cameras one with colour and one with black and white, and make photos simultaneously? This is what happens and it is incredibly interesting to see. What is even more interesting is Meyerowitz eloquent dialogue that runs alongside the photos. Joel is an ever generous soul and doesn’t leave you to work out the questions… he gives you the answers (in writing!) A must for anyone interested in writing unpretentiously about photography.

Car Culture by Jonathan Castillo, Skylark Editions

Beautifully designed, Castillo photographs drivers in their cars with an elaborate two car camera/flash set up. All candid , but look like movie stills. A journey through technical obsession in Los Angeles.

Book of the Road by Daniel Meadows, Bluecoat Press

A redo of Meadows amazing bus portrait journey. Designed like the old fashioned AA Book of the Road road atlas. Book of the Road celebrates the 50th anniversary of Daniel Meadows’ pioneering 1970s documentary project Free Photographic Omnibus. Driving over 10,000 miles in a double-decker bus, the wild-haired young Meadows spent 14 months mapping the length and breadth of England. Beautifully designed by Tom Booth Wooger who is singlehandedly turning Blue Coat around the right corner.

Zillion by Thomas Manneke, Van Zoetendaal

Thomas Manneke’s book Zillion features 54 black and white photos made over the last three years, most of them shot with 8/10 inch camera. Photos in the book depict daily observations, stills of found items, and objects made by Manneke or his daughter Laurie. The photos are mystical, joyful and made with intrigue and delight. One of my favourite contemporary photographers. 

Blauwhuis by Bouwe Brouwer, Chemistry Publishing

There is something effortless about Bouwe Brouwers photography. Nothing feels forced, the photos just appear in a perfectly untaken manner. This book is dedicated to a muddy race in the Netherlands. Fasten your seatbelts as Bouwe takes us on a cruise of the race track. The book arrives with a mud encrusted spine… A special talent, watch out for him, he’s driving fast and smoothly.

Dislocations by Alex Webb, Thames & Hudson

I remember lusting after this unobtainable book. Finally re-released to the masses this is a mega mix of some of Alex Webb’s great shots from around the world. Updated and re-sequenced by his photographer partner Rebecca Norris Webb. If you like Webb’s work this is a must have for the collection.

Winogrand Color by Garry Winogrand, Twin Palms

The wait is over, Im not sure that it lives up to the hype, but anything Winogrand is a must have for me. Printed very well, I wish there was more! Having seen the exhibition in Brooklyn I know that there is more!!! Looking forward to Winogrand Color 2 “The Empire Strikes Back” and Winogrand Color 3 “Return of the Jedi”...

Matt Stuart, Photographer, Author, Photo Book addict all round obsessive… trying to make the world a better place. Book by book…


top - Monument by Trent Parke, Stanley Barker
below - Being There by Omar Victor Diop x The Anonymous Project, Textuel

Being There by Omar Victor Diop x The Anonymous Project, Textuel