Monday, January 28, 2013

Wolfgang Tillmans - Neue Welt (New World) - 2012

Paul Loomis writes in ASX American Suburb about Wolfgang Tillman's new bookwork Neue Welt published in 2012 by Taschen.
Throughout this explosion of images, Tillmans seems to know exactly what to do with each and every one. There is a very careful eye at work in these pages, and the photographs mesh even though they shouldn’t. They are layered on top of each other, stacked horizontally and vertically, and placed from page to page in a way that seems natural in its effortlessness.  You can read the full piece HERE.

I bought this book and keep coming back to it. It is at once simple and complex too, and continues Tillman's exploration into the nature of Truth.The relentless images are an acute observation of the strange unpredictability of the human condition. As Tillman's says of himself he has an open anxiety-free gaze. The work is about connections and disconnections, images seemingly thrown together that shouldn't be, well known iconography and the unknown. He says, the most interesting question is - what is normal? Who decides what is aestheticizing, what is research, what is familiar, what is exotic? Pictures are always the transcription of an experiencing of the world.
And an experience it is, a surprising combination of all these things. A book well worth checking out and adding to your library. Amazon has it HERE.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PARIS DIARY - Here, There, Everywhere...

Back in December I wrote a post about Austin Kleon's creative manifesto. One of the points Kleon made was that geography is no longer our master. In effect I can sit here in Auckland (on this bright summer's Sunday morning) and be and reach anywhere I want to.

This prompted me to have a look at the locations, cities and streets, where my new PARIS DIARY has ended up. Below is a random selection of google street views showing the books new homes. Other locations include, Finland, Lancashire in the UK, several copies to California, NY State, Wisconsin and various locations in Germany. Yes indeed we do live in a global village.

Sao Paulo Brazil

Blois France

Hamburg Germany

Trondheim Norway

New York NY USA

Berlin Germany

Brisbane Australia
Sincere thanks to all those who like my work and have bought this book.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stephen Gill - Coexistence

Jeffrey Ladd,  photographer, writer, editor and founder of Errata Editions writes about Stephen Gill's new bookwork Coexistence in a recent edition of TIME's LightBox.

The photographic voice of the English photographer Stephen Gill always has a playfully inventive ring. His book ‘Hackney Wick’ (Nobody, 2005), named after an area in east London where the photographs were made, is comprised of pictures taken with a cheap plastic lens camera he bought at a flea market in Hackney Wick for 50 pence. For his book ‘Hackney Flowers’ (Nobody, 2007) he gathered plants, flowers, and seeds, arranging the material over photographs (which he then re-photographed) — creating complex dimensional collage. For other series, he has buried prints to “allow the place itself to imprint upon the images through decay or markings;” or placed objects and creatures inside his camera creating images akin to in-camera “photograms” as seen in his book ‘Outside In’ (Photoworks, 2010).

You can read the full piece at TIME's LightBox HERE

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I have just completed the fifth bookwork in my PARIS DIARY series, this one with photographs made in November 2012. The book is the same format as the previous diaries with an edition limited to 75 copies, each book signed and numbered. There are 28 photographs, over 28 pages, printed on 150gsm art paper, 226 x 160 mm. Below are some of the pages.

With the first 20 copies ordered of PARIS DIARY Number 5, I will include a signed and numbered limited edition print of the bookworks cover image.  First come first served. You can see the print at the top.

Copies can be obtained directly from me at:
Prices are, €24 / £20 / US$32 / NZ$38, which include packing and postage. For payment you can simply log on to my PayPal account using my email address above.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photography - a few rules

A writer friend of mine sent me a piece written by Kurt Vonnegut an old hero of mine. In it Vonnegut proposed a list of rules for writing. It was clear that many of the rules also apply to making photographs. Although I've written about this before these benchmarks are always worth repeating. I've paraphrased Vonnegut's points and added a few thoughts of my own.

1. Find a subject you care about and which you genuinely feel others will care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language (photography), which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. 
I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do.

2. Do not ramble, though I won't ramble on about that. Isn't this all about getting to the point and getting there as quickly as you can?

3. Keep it simple. The two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long. Joyce, when he was frisky, could put together a sentence as intricate and as glittering as a necklace for Cleopatra, but my favorite sentence in his short story ‘Eveline’ is just this one: ‘She was tired.’ At that point in the story, no other words could break the heart of a reader as those three words do.
Simple can also be profound. What's more the best work, in both writing and photography is when something of substance is made out of nothing. Surely this is simplicity itself, although easy to say, hard to do.

4. Have the guts to cut. Your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, (photograph) no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.  Edit, edit, edit.

5. Sound like yourself. I  grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench. I  find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. Authenticity crops up yet again.

6. Say what you mean to say.  My teachers wished me to write accurately, always selecting the most effective words, and relating the words to one another unambiguously, rigidly, like parts of a machine.  They hoped that I would become understandable. And there went my dream of doing with words what Pablo Picasso did with paint or what any number of jazz idols did with music. If I broke all the rules of punctuation, had words mean whatever I wanted them to mean, and strung them together higgledly-piggledy, I would simply not be understood. 
Readers want our pages to look very much like pages they have seen before. Why? This is because they themselves have a tough job to do, and they need all the help they can get from us. Certainly readers need all the help they can get, but they're not to be underestimated. In my view a touch of Picasso and a drop of Coltrane can be spot on. 

7. Pity the readers.  Readers have to identify thousands of little marks on paper, and make sense of them immediately. They have to read, an art so difficult that most people don’t really master it even after having studied it all through school. 
So this discussion must finally acknowledge that our stylistic options as writers (photographers) are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists. Our audience requires us to be sympathetic and patient teachers, ever willing to simplify and clarify, whereas we would rather soar high above the crowd, singing like nightingales. 

Last, the wisdom of Duane Michals is worth repeating - Forget all the rules.

And finally, this Kurt Vonnegut blog - So It Goes - is well worth checking out - HERE

Saturday, January 19, 2013

FILM CRITICISM is alive and well!

Joaquin Phoenix in the The Master - lobotomized catatonia
I had the misfortune of seeing Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie The Master last night. And what a pretentious, self important pile of rubbish that turned out to be. After the event, I checked the reviews on metacritic. It was great to read Rex Reed from the New York Observer speaking his mind. OMG he really hated that movie and so did I!

I'm posting this because I thought back to my recent post on art criticism and the wasted opportunities in that arena where nothing ever gets criticised any more. Described yes, damned with faint praise yes, glossed over too, but rarely taken apart and dealt to when richly deserved. And there are plenty of opportunities! Art critics need to take a leaf out of the film critics manual. Rex Reed's manual anyway...

Here is Rex Reed's opening salvo from his  brilliantly written review of The Master. You can read the rest of the review HERE.

I never cease to be amused by the pile of unmitigated crap that gets shoveled off onto the moviegoing public by pretentious critics. They’re at it again with The Master, a load of film-festival tripe that was booed in Venice and greeted with massive walkouts in Toronto but is now being defended in an organized rescue mission that hopes to develop a minor cult following in New York before the whole thing mercifully vanishes in a puff of twaddle. With an embarrassing, overwrought performance by the dependably creeped-out Joaquin Phoenix that has to be the most hysterically misguided overacting since Dennis Hopper played Napoleon and Harpo Marx played Sir Isaac Newton in The Story of Mankind, I’m tempted to call it the worst thing I have seen this year, but there are two more coming up—Terrence Malick’s dystopic To the Wonder and a diabolically demented time-travel farce called Cloud Atlas—that are even worse. I will also refrain from labeling The Master “the worst movie I’ve ever seen!” because like the proverbial boy who cried wolf, I’ve blurted that cry of despair so many times, who would believe me?It might not even be the worst movie ever made, depending on how you feel about such hollow, juvenile and superficial trash as I  ♥ Huckabees, Brewster McCloud, Punch-Drunk Love, Mulholland Drive, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lost Highway, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and … well, as they said in Hollywood during the McCarthy witch hunts, “the list goes on.”

Friday, January 18, 2013

The photobook - paper or pixel?

A few of the books in my studio
On Monday Joerg Colberg posted a piece on his blog, Conscientious - under the heading e or eek? A continuation of the debate, either to stick to tradition or go with the now in book publishing, buying, reading. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Joerg's post. You can read it in full HERE.

Utility aside, ebooks, at least for me, have very serious drawbacks. The book itself, the object, possesses properties that ebooks can never conceivably have. Give a book as a gift to a good friend, watch her/him unwrap it. What are you gonna do with an ebook? Hand someone a gift card for some online retailer? Or talk with a friend about a book, and then loan her/him one. These kinds of social (yes, social!) interactions lack their equivalent in the “e” world.
On top of that, books require book shops, which can be a huge problem if you’re a publisher, but which is great for people who love books. An avid reader, I’ve never figured out how to meaningfully browse for books on Amazon, say. Their computer will suggest books to me that are based on what I bought already (which usually leads to amusing suggestions when I buy something as a gift for someone with vastly different interests) or on what other people bought. But other people aren’t relevant for me. Anonymous, computer-algorithm generated other people aren’t relevant for anyone. If you get a recommendation then that recommendation will only work for you if the source is trusted, if you know where that other person is coming from. 

Here are a few thoughts of my own. For certain this discussion is not going to go away anytime soon. Paper v pixels…the debate seems to be hotting up regarding the future of the traditional book and its competition from the ebook. If one was a mainstream fiction publisher you'd have to be worried. However the photobook is a whole other story. To crudely paraphrase poet William Carlos Williams, so much depends on the feel of the paper, glazed with ink, besides the other books in the library.
The photo book is  a tactile experience. Good photo books are about the look, the feel, and how often have you seen somebody pick up a photobook and smell it. I have. Often. Ink and paper can be addictive. It's all about the book as object and its appeal to the senses. Emotional, physical.
My relationship with the photobook is a random sort of affair. I own a lot of photobooks and they are distributed all over my house and studio. Of course when I'm looking for a particular book I can never find it. But that adds to the adventure and I keep discovering "old friends" and I sit and take a hit, a few pages here, a few pages there. Working from the front to the back it doesn't matter.  It sort of mirrors seeing out in the world, this and that. Random.

Of course you can't totally write off the ebook and the pixel experience. It's not better or worse, just different. I remember sitting at dinner in Paris a few years ago with photographer colleague Susan Lipper who had an iPad and was able to show a bunch of us some recent work. It was impressive. Both the work and the viewing. But there is no way I'm going to get out my iPad and browse through Baltz, Graham, Tillmans, Adams, Gossage. Mmmm, might just dig out my copy of The Pond right now…

Kodak... down memory lane...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Art critics, where have they all gone?

The guardian's Jonathan Jones last week wrote on his ART BLOG lamenting the current trend for fawning art commentary, something which has gone hand in hand with the arrival of the celebrity artist in London. Jones mentions the Hatchet Job of the Year prize which rewards brutal book reviews and suggests there should be a similar award in the visual arts.

Jones further laments the death of Robert Hughes and comments, The sad death of Robert Hughes last year robbed art criticism in the English language of a courageous voice. Hughes was eloquent, honest, and did not care what artists, dealers and curators thought of him. One artist responded to his reviews by spreading libels, so Hughes simply published the libel himself and faced the artist down. The gory details can be enjoyed in his book of essays Nothing If Not Critical, which any aspiring critic should read at least 10 times... So where's our Robert Hughes? Cowering in the toilets at Tate Modern.

And I liked this bit... Grayson Perry is a fine pundit, an interesting curator, but as a visual artist he is a hack whose work churns around and teems with futile incidents in a way that totally fails to soar. Tracey Emin draws with more life than he does, but not half as well as any newspaper cartoonist. If you think Antony Gormley is a good sculptor, go and see the childish figures he carved on boulders outside the British Library in London. Jenny Saville? A heroic mediocrity. The bloated reputations of so many artists of our time offer critics a lifetime's supply of truth telling, so why hold back? We should be going after this lot (and loads more) all the time, and at full volume. Instead, they are more or less guaranteed nice reviews that ignore the pustules of badness that seep out of chic galleries.

Of course I think it's probably all the do with money, isn't most things these days. And I've always liked the line, nobody ever went broke underestimating the public taste. So very true.

Jones's complete piece can be read HERE and the 104 comments are well worth a read too. He must have struck a nerve!

Oh, and the photograph at the top of this post is a toilet at The Tate Modern, a picture I made back in November. No latter-day Hughes cowering there, although I didn't check the disability toilets!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

di Corcia meets Crewdson meets Wall, and what makes a photograph work

The picture above was posted on my daughter Lucy's fb page by her friend and photographer Frances Carter who'd made the photograph. I came across the photograph by chance and was intrigued by its dynamic. It seemed to me to have many of the conceptual and visual elements that make an image work.
The picture could have been either set-up or just a chance happening. As it turned out it was the latter, a spontaneous shot of a bunch of friends hanging out. Whatever, it's still a great picture.
So what makes it work for me? I'm left with the feeling of wanting to know what's just happened and what might be about to. I like this sort of response, where the reader has to work out what's going on. There is a strong sense of intrigue and mystery here. Questions asked.
I like to think photographs fall into roughly two camps. Those that when you look at them, your response is so what, it's boring, dull, seen it all before, and you dismiss it. Then the other sort, where your response is what the fuck, you are left with a feeling where you want to, have to, work out the mystery contained in the picture. Complete the puzzle or at least come up with the questions.
Frances Carter's photograph is a WTF for sure.

The other thing I like in France's picture is how the camera has taken a singular position as observer and has captured all that is going on, things that are oblivious to individuals in the scene. The women at the back are smiling, deep in conversation, unaware of what has startled the dark haired woman in the foreground. And the woman with the sunglasses on her head is eyeballing the camera as if the photographer has intruded. I like the light source burning out in the top right of the frame. That has an element of menace, yet the group in the foreground have turned in the other direction, their attention caught by something else.
As a composition the picture works too. I like the placement of the figures and the way those in the foreground are back-lit. There is a repetition of triangular shapes which gives the picture a certain rhythm. And the benign Hawaiian shirt which seems to be totally out of place is a nice touch.

Oh, I must ask daughter Lucy what was going on, worth a try, but I'm sure she won't tell...

Turns out Frances Carter is a pretty on-to-it fashion photographer, you can see her work HERE

Frances Carter shoots Princess Chelsea

Monday, January 14, 2013

William Eggleston in B&W - Doug Rickard writes at ASX

It's more than likely that most of the readers of this blog are also readers of Doug Rickard's insightful and perceptive web-presence, ASX / AMERICAN SUBURB X / Photography & Culture.
Rickard says this about ASX: Started in 2008, AMERICAN SUBURB X / ASX is an ever-growing archive and fiercely edited look at photography’s always relevant past, rapidly shifting present and dramatically unfolding future. The mission is to provide and provoke, to educate and titillate those who are obsessed with photography, visual culture and all of the beautiful moving parts. We believe that by bringing together the intellectual and the visual in a powerful dance, ASX will foster new generations of artists, scholars, collectors, and patrons.
With over 100,000 site visitors a month and 44,000 Facebook fans, ASX brings crucial and addictive content to the worldwide lovers of this rapidly changing beast that we often call ‘photography’. If you haven't come across this site you can go there HERE, now.....

Today's post from ASX is about Eggleston's bookwork BEFORE COLOR published by Steidl in 2010. Below is Doug Rickard's final paragraph from the piece. I'm sure on reading this you will want to read the rest. And if you're not a subscriber already, become one. You can do both HERE.

Because of the “Eggleston color legacy”, one might assume that the absence of color diminishes the work and the strength of Eggleston as an artist. It does not. It is largely up to the viewer to disassociate themselves from their own deep mental ties to Eggleston and his “color”. Not an easy task, but entirely possible. I would not though say that the absence of  ”Southern” environs does not diminish Eggleston as an artist. It does. Eggleston as a “Southern artist” can’t and should not project his “South” on simply anywhere (Berlin, Moscow, Mexico City, etc). To be a “democratic” photographer (taking pictures of anything with equal merit) might suggest this approach relating also to geography but I would put forth that Eggleston is more accurately a “Southern Democratic Photographer”. There is no need then for him to show anything or anywhere else. He is the singular master of this domain.
Bravo to Steidl and Eggleston – this is a tour de force of legacy, sinful deeds and menace. Eggleston here is at his earliest and surprisingly, at an equal to him at his best.

The ASX home page, so much, so good!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Photography Exhibitions - a world view

Photo Exhibitions is the first website dedicated to an ongoing overview of photography shows showing worldwide. It stems from an idea of Steve Bisson and it is developed by the staff of Urbanautica Journal of Photography, through network research and postings on the Photo Exhibitions Facebook Group.
The sites geographic lists that are constantly updated with the help of galleries, museums and photography fans!

You can go there HERE

Thursday, January 10, 2013

PHOTOBOOKSTORE - the latest recommendations

UK based PHOTOBOOKSTORE's January Newsletter has just hit my inbox. As usual there is a fresh lot of tempting new titles. What I like about this newsletter is that it doesn't set out to sell but simply inform and they do that really well.
The mailing includes from Mac Books, Torbjørn Rødland's Vanilla Partner and Paul Graham's Hasselblad Award publication 1981 - 2011, both come highly recommended. Also two self published wonderfully idiosyncratic bookworks, Sebastien Girard's Strip O Gram and Stephen Gill's Coexistence.

What's so good about the newsletter is that it has links to detailed information about each book and often too a video run through. Well worth checking out...

Shōmei Tōmatsu - RIP

Shōmei Tōmatsu - January 16, 1930 – December 14, 2012)
Born Teruaki Tōmatsu (東松照明, Tōmatsu Teruaki) in Nagoya in 1930, Tōmatsu studied economics at Aichi University, graduating in 1954. While still a student, he had his photographs published by the major Japanese photography magazines. He entered Iwanami and worked on the series Iwanami Shashin Bunko. Two years later, he left in order to freelance.
In 1959, Tōmatsu formed Vivo with Eikoh Hosoe and Ikkō Narahara. Two years later, his and Ken Domon's book Hiroshima–Nagasaki Document 1961, on the effects of the atomic bombs, was published to great acclaim.
In 1972, he moved to Okinawa; in 1975, his prizewinning book of photographs of Okinawa, Pencil of the Sun (太陽の鉛筆, Taiyō no enpitsu) was published.
Tōmatsu moved to Nagasaki in 1998. Tōmatsu died in Naha (Okinawa) on 14 December 2012 (although this was not publicly announced until January 2013).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Photography featured in films... all you ever wanted to know!

Still photography and the moving image has always gone hand in hand. I came across this wonderful site, the Cine-Tourist, which amongst other things lists the movies, since 1895, that feature photography. We can all think of Antonioni's Blow Up from 1966 and Hitchcock's Rear Window from 1954, but I'm sure like me, you've probably under-estimated the number. The site was created by one Roland-Francois Lack who teaches both French and Film at University College London. And oh, if you're also into maps the site provides an index of movies featuring cartography. There are also some fascinating links that are well worth exploring.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Documentary photography - is it DEAD?

A recent article in the online journal SALON asks the question, is documentary-style photography dead? The piece cites the afterword to Aperture’s recent re-release of Nan Goldin's classic, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency.
Goldin writes: I am terrified that everything I believe about photography, about this work, is over because of the computer and easy manipulation of images it facilitates. This work was always about reality, the hard truth, and there was never any artifice. I have always believed that my photographs capture a moment that is real, without setting anything up...
Now, it is so distressing: no one any longer believes that a photograph is real. Almost every time I give a talk or teach, I ask this question about truth and photography. If all but four or five in an audience of two hundred artistic people don’t believe that photographs are true, then what does that say about the rest of the world? So this eliminates the larger reason for having done this book — not for me, but if nobody believes it as having happened …what is the point? The belief that a photograph can be True has become obsolete.

To me the real issue here is not the "truth" of the photograph, after all what is truth? Have photographs ever been truly true? Certainly not objective in their take on the world. After all what is in the frame and what meaning that carries is all to do with where the camera was pointed. In fact it's as much to do with what has been left out of the image as has been left in. Context is everything. In effect the manipulation starts when the picture is framed up before it even gets into photoshop.
What we photographers should be thinking about is not so much Truth but Authenticity. Is the work truthful to its origins and has a sincerity of intention? In dealing with the world, is the work faithful to the maker's internal ideas and rather than just external? (Does this include WTF my galerist wants one in pink because he knows he can sell it?)
If the work stacks up authentically, then the process itself becomes quite secondary and manipulation and set-ups will not damage the substance or the reading of the work.
Increasingly I'm seeing work that has moved beyond just being a quantifiable document. Work that is highly personal and is not just about how things are but how we feel. I like this sort of work, it's exciting and challenging. By moving beyond the straight document, this opens up the image making to something slippery, strange, perverse and mysterious. This sort of work invites engagement and asks the difficult questions.

You can read the full text of the SALON article HERE. Below is an extract that appealed to me and I think supports what I've said above.
More and more, in an art setting, photography is used as a process to create abstract or self-consciously composed imagery, often as a component of a larger conceptual frame; it tends to present reality through metaphor, or by way of a signifier, rather than by straight documentation of subjects’ lives. So, yes, it may be fair to say that people no longer believe that a photograph in a gallery or museum or art book is true, precisely because they are no longer being asked to do so. The question, for the time being, seems almost irrelevant.

Todd Hido - my car is my studio...

Todd Hido -#10474-c 2011
Represented by several international galleries during Paris Photo 2012, Todd Hido’s I drive is showing currently at the Galerie Particulière, Paris, until January 15, 2013.
This work is an ongoing series begun 20 years ago, and Hido, a professor at the California College of Art in San Francisco, is nowhere near stopping. America is big, after all.
When asked about his process, he answers, elusively: “I drive. I drive a lot.”
The exhibition takes the viewer on the road, mostly at night, with stops in motels interspersed with portraits of women, sometimes nude, wrapped up in sheets. Hido takes his photographs in passing, stopping when something catches his eye. The choice of framing, lighting (look closely at his landscapes) and the near cinematic storytelling combine to create a very particular atmosphere.

Todd Hido - # 1937, 1997
Todd Hido / Until January 15th, 2013 / La Galerie Particulière
16 rue du Perche / 75003 Paris  / +33 (0)1 48 74 28 40
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 7pm /

Saturday, January 5, 2013

DEVELOP Tube: Photography to Watch...

The DEVELOP Tube Photography Video Channel is an educational resource which features interviews, multimedia, lectures & films in photojournalism, documentary & fine art photography.
You can browse DEVELOP Tube, which currently lists 1,884 videos, through the main channel page as well as through its catalogue of over 250 albums featuring videos, bios and web links to individual photographers and organizations. It's well worth a look. You can go to the site HERE and to search the albums, you can start HERE.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Antoine D'Agata - his intimate relationship with the world

It was good to catch up with Antoine D'Agata in Siem Reap at the Angkor photofestival last December. It was a pleasure to see him at work with the young students in his workshop where he quietly gave with generous wisdom and kindness and to see an aspect of this man that seemed so at odds with the harsh extremes of his own practice.
I thought about the time he was in Auckland where he stayed in my house but only slept in his bed once, disappearing at night to parts of the city I never knew existed. Nor wanted to know. I though too about when my girlfriend B and I collaborated with Antoine for his book Stigma. How strange that was.

Antoine has a particular view of the world filtered through the depths of his own psyche. His view is uncompromising, unflinching and challenging, embracing fear, an emotion we all have to deal with. But so often don't. His work is about questioning, understanding and acceptance. Beauty, violence too. There is an absence of artifice and ego in the work. It just is. How he is.
Despite being a Magnum member, Antoine works outside the system, confronting his own demons in his own terms. For himself. He is to be admired and respected for that.

Writer Manik Katyal talked with Antoine in Siem Reap. you can read the piece HERE published on line at EMAHO magazine. It's well worth a read.

French photographer Antoine D’agata’s work is dark, introspective and shockingly bold. A photographer for Magnum Photos, Antoine has published over 5 books. Our editor-in-chief, Manik Katyal caught up with Antoine in Siem Reap, Cambodia during the Angkor Photo Festival in December 2012 . Antoine talks about his life, Magnum, his family and his association with the underworld in this two part interview with Emaho Magazine - 

Antoine: Yes. My life is what it is and of course I’ve been different in my choices but I don’t do it out of pleasure or pathology, I do it because I think it’s my duty as a human being. I live in this world, I want to know what’s going on, I want to be with the people I think I’m like. In meaningful and painful situations, I want to be where I think it’s important to be; where things are at stake. If others are experimenting with the economic balance, I want to be there. So this is my way. I’m not photographing pleasure but my relationship with these girls who are prostitutes or drug addicts or delinquents is a very conscious choice.