Flicking through the pages of the new Eyemazing book is a little like glimpsing through a peephole. Inviting you into a murky underworld of surrealism, Neo-Victorian portraiture, fetishism and dark twists on the classical nude, this collection of evocative images handpicked from the archive by the magazine’s founder Susan Zadeh embodies the qualities of the distinctive “eyemazing photograph” – that which is vividly imaginative, cashes in on shock value and gives form to feeling.
Highlights include work from Susan Meiselas’s voyeuristic monograph and stark portraits from Roger Ballen’s photo essay “Outland.” Ballen’s disquieting pictures are taken from his travels through the rural villages of South Africa. Bridging the gap between photojournalism and art, his imagery often revels in ugliness and squalor. Think Walker Evans meets Diane Arbus. Uncannily, a grisly old man holds a rat up to the camera as if introducing us to a friend; a boy lies beneath a makeshift crucifix complete with baby-doll Jesus.
Jarring with the book’s many black and white images, Meisela’s lurid series “Pandora’s Box” was shot in the famous Manhattan S&M club of the same name, more affectionately dubbed the "Disneyland of Domination". You can expect flashes of latex, PVC and gold lamé.
Poised somewhere between thought and gesture – both striking and perverse – the visuals are beautiful. Pairing the ethereal with the graphic, Eyemazing is a rousing compendium for the keen eye.