4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not Stephen Gill at his strongest (or, is it?),
This review is from: Coming up for Air (Hardcover)
I do have to confess (with a certain feeling that I'm being disloyal to someone whose work I greatly admire) that this is not my favorite of Gill's books. I own most of Gill's books, and I think that they establish Gill as an innovative, interesting, and challenging photographer and producer of beautiful photobooks. What might be described as 'self-indulgent' (as Jumbo did in his earlier review) could also be described as pursuing a theme-- though a number of artists have clearly gone over the edge after one. I can't honestly decide if this book is at the top or the bottom of the cliff.
There are a number of things I really like about this book. I like some, though not all, of the images very much-- Gill shows himself yet again a master of the evocative image, though some of them evoke drowning or a very bad hangover, neither of which appeal to me much. I like the hand-painted covers very much, and this takes the photobook as objet d'art to a whole new level; it means that, effectively, each book is unique.
If the book provokes a strong reaction, though (even a negative one), I wonder what that tells us. Jumbo's earlier review actually makes me wonder if I've misjudged this book (though not by its cover), and not given Gill enough credit (I don't want to be like one of the reviewers who panned Frank's The Americans-- there were lots of those!). Perhaps with time this will become a favorite-- it just hasn't got there yet for me.