Thursday, January 9, 2014

Photobook collecting, some thoughts from Tom Claxton

In a recent recent piece on AMERICAN PHOTO, writer Dan Abbe talks with photobook collector Tom Claxton. It's an informative read covering items such as, why collect, organzing a collection, hunting for books and so on...

In 2011, The Guardian published an article that detailed the photobook's rise as a collectible item and introduced a number of important books in the field. What’s surprising about this article is that it did not appear in the Guardian's Culture section—instead, it ran in Money, and introduced photobooks as an investment opportunity. The security of this investment might be questionable, but the medium is certainly experiencing a boom. It's probably an exaggeration to say that zines are on the market for thousands of dollars, but only just: Cristina de Middel's self-published book The Afronauts, which came out last year, is already being sold for thousands of dollars. In this kind of environment, how should one put together a photobook collection? I talked to New York-based collector Tom Claxton to find out. Claxton, who introduces his books on his site Claxton Projects, is an ideal person to evaluate the state of collecting: his own collection now runs close to 7,000 books. But despite the "silly money" moving around the photobook market, he stresses that the foundation of a collection is less a prospector’s eye—he says nobody is actually buying those copies of The Afronauts, anyway—and more a passion for the medium. 

You can read the full text of the story on AMERICAN PHOTO, HERE

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