Friday, October 3, 2014

Limited Edition Books: Portraits – Gered Mankowitz / Photographs – Guido Harari

From August 26th – October 2nd 2014, Gered Mankowitz and Guido Harari held a photography exhibition at the Snap Galleries in London featuring their work on Kate Bush. To complement their work, each photographer also released a special self-published limited edition book to coincide with the event, which was only available through the duration of the exhibit. The price of each book was £40. Not super cheap, but so worth it. If you missed out on getting these wonderful books, no need to panic. Both photographers have more new books planned and I have some details on those.

Kate Bush – Portraits: Gered Mankowitz

Measuring 7” x 7”, this hardcover book originally came in this cellophane wrapping with a small Kate Bush sticker to seal it. The book also has a stunningly nice, yet simple dust jacket. When I removed it, I was a bit surprised to see that the actual book cover and spine didn't have an imprint of the book title. The most logical reason for this was probably to keep the cost down as much as possible.

The book has a total of 48 pages and consists of 29 photographs in both black & white and full colour (or 35 photographs, depending on if you count the contact sheets on the last two pages as individual photos or not). Many of the photographs will be familiar to people already, but some are not. Either way, the photos themselves are much sharper and more crisp than most of the scans you would find online. Some of the pages are double-sided with photos, but many pages are one-sided with the opposite side of the page left blank, which I think is a bit of a waste considering the price to start with. Several more photographs could have easily been squeezed into this book.

I've photographed a few pages to give you an idea of its overall layout. Unfortunately, I won’t be scanning this book in for the simple fact that I would literally need to destroy the book in order to do that, which isn't going to happen – obviously! As you can see, the photos are full sized on each of the pages. It’s simple, yet stunning. I also like how there isn't loads of writing throughout the book to distract you from the photos. Despite the fact that Mankowitz only worked with Kate from 1978-79, he has taken some very memorable photos of Kate which are nicely displayed here. If I have one real criticism with this book it’s that the majority of the photos are presented in black & white. I see that as a real shame because I have seen a lot of these photos as full colour versions and they are stunning. Seeing them devoid of colour does take something away from them I feel.

If you missed out on buying this limited edition book, no need to panic. Gered Mankowitz will be publishing a new book entitled: WOW! You can read more details about it right HERE. I think this book is going to be a pass for me. The proposed price is £295, so it’s a bit much for my liking. Even with the pre-order discount, which was only available until October 2nd, the price would still be a whopping £175. Too pricey for my blood. Besides, there’s another book in the works that I’m more interested in.

Kate Bush – Photographs: Guido Harari

Photographs is a new limited edition book by Guido Harari, and features some stunning photos of Kate. I've always enjoyed Guido Harari’s work a lot more, so it’s no surprise that this book is my favourite out of the two. His photos are more vibrant and expressive, whereas Mankowitz always seems to go after a particular kind of mood with his shots, which does get a bit repetitive after a while – but that’s just my opinion.

The book measures 8½” x 8½” and it’s a softcover. Spot varnish printing is used on the front titles of the book, which I like because it’s unobtrusive to the cover. There are a total of 40 pages with a total of 43 photographs inside – both black & white and full colour. This book definitely has a lot more colour photographs in it. And just like with Mankowitz’s book, many of the photographs in this book will be familiar to people already, but there are some surprises as well. One of the things that I like about this book is that the photos have been sectioned off by year, so you get a nice timeline type feature. Again, I've photographed a few pages here to give you an idea of its overall layout. Unfortunately, I won’t be scanning this book in either for the simple fact that I would literally need to destroy it in order to do that.

If you missed out on buying this limited edition book, no need to panic. Guido Harari will be publishing a new book entitled: The Kate Inside. It’s going to be a large 300 page hardcover book with over 300 photographs. The book is slated for Summer 2015, and you can register your interest in the book project via Guido’s website:  Keep in mind that if you do register your interest in this book project, it doesn't mean you’re committed to financially supporting the book in any way… although giving anything you can to this worthwhile project when they start crowd-funding would be great. I've already registered my interest through the site, so I hope you all do too. Here is the email I received after registering through their site. It sounds like it’s going to be a very interesting book.

Also from Snap Galleries is this double-sided info sheet showing you a price list of the prints that were available to buy during he exhibition.

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