From hard to find first edition photo books, to the woman capturing hip hop history, and an homage to homo-punk smut in Berlin
Lisa Leone was a b-girl turned photographer who witnessed the rise of hip-hop and rap in the 90s. Photographing on the set of music videos like Snoop Dogg’s “What’s My Name” and in the studio as Nas recorded his now-legendary album Illmatic, there was more to Leone than right place, right time – and these images (and her stories behind them) prove that.
Good photography and photography books feel like a dime a dozen in an age where everyone is a photographer. But there’s beauty in the printed page and incredible photography and photo books are a little harder to come by. Sure there are reprints but there’s nothing better than holding a first edition – and since the likelihood of us owning/affording/finding those true gems is, let's say, low, we compiled a wish list of some of the most unattainable publications in case there's a guardian collector's edition angel watching out for us somewhere...
It's hard to imagine that something as integral to youth culture as skateboarding has been over the past five or so decades in cities like New York and London is a burgeoning scene is other places like Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Cuba. These beautiful images were shot in Ethiopia by Berlin photographer Daniel Reiter who set about tracing the grassroots youth skater movement in the African enclave in partnership with Ethiopiaskate.org, a community championing local skate talent.
Martin Parr opened up his archives for us and a window into England’s everyday people; mums, punks, shopkeepers, in these previously unseen images. Discussing the enduring importance of his work, he told us; “What we forget is that when you look back at those times and it feels quite dated, (that) it’s one of the things that documentary photography always does. It becomes more valuable as it gets older.”
Live fast, die young is such a cliched expression because there are few that it genuinely feels relevant for. One of those people being the late artist Dash Snow who candidly documented his wild nights out in downtown New York through Polaroid pictures, sculpture, collage work, and film. His work is a chaotic narrative of a life spent mostly blacked out but is a raw reminder of just how special he was. With his first solo London show on now at Hackney Road’s Anna Kultys gallery, we revisited an archive interview with Snow.
Matt Lambert and husband Jannis Birsner released VITIUM last month; a black and white photo zine that pays homage to homo-punk smut. Playing within similar lines of Lambert's previous work (see Keim) the duo turn their lens on Berlin's gay scene, creating a ‘fraternal’ narrative that is half-documentary and half-fiction... and a lot of red bars.
At first, @look_at_this_pusssy looks like it exists entirely to shock and make you laugh, but speaking with the account's founders you'll soon find there's more to this feed than comical arrangements of ham and close-ups of oysters - even though those are great too. Read the full interview here.
Often cast aside in lieu of their male counterparts, you’d be naive to believe that women aren’t some of the leading documentary photographers in the world of conflict and war zone reporting. In honour of late Moroccan-French photographer and video artist Leila Alaoui who died earlier this year while on assignment for Amnesty International in Burkina Faso, we spotlighted five other incredible talents who are risking their lives to show us some of the world’s most pressing issues.
As a collaboration with YOUTH CLUB and Dalston’s Doomed Gallery, the first in their monthly talks saw photographer Matthew Smith share his memories of shooting the West Country rave scene and some of the UK’s biggest protest and marches. If you missed it, you can read the pre-interview we did with him in full here.
OK, so it's proven that shelter, good health, perhaps some money and a family or friendship circle tend to be requirements for happiness but these photos from Olivia Bee’s new book, Kids In Love, plunge us into blissful ignorance when you do truly believe that the giddy heights of young love are all you need to survive.