Marilyn Monroe, the famous model and actress would have been 89 years old in 2015. Even if she left us at a young age (36) the photographs of Norman Jean Baker keep her memory alive. In this top 10 we choose images taken by masters of photography.
In 79 AD, the city of Pompeii in the south of Italy was destroyed, buried beneath volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted. At the time of its destruction, the population of Pompeii was estimated at 11,000 people. After the eruption, the city was lost for about 1,500 years until its rediscovery in the late 16th century. The objects that lay beneath the city had been preserved for centuries due to the lack of air and moisture. During the excavation, plaster was used to fill the voids in the compacted layers of ash that once held human bodies, enabling archaeologists to see the exact position a person was in at the moment of death. The original casts are kept in an archive within the Pompeii site and because of their sacredness and fragility, it is prohibited to move them to other locations. Second generation copies of the casts have since been made, and are loaned out to museums for exhibitions, both locally and internationally, but no individuals are allowed to borrow them. With the support of the Ambassador of Japan in Rome, the authority of Pompeii graciously made an exception, and granted permission for Kenro Izu to remove a selection of the copied casts in order to create photographic compositions at the Pompeii sites. In addition, the Pompeii authority has permitted Izu to photograph the original human casts in the archive building as 'portraits' of the people of ancient Pompeii. For the work of Requiem, Kenro Izu created an imaginary scene of sometime after 'the day', when lives were extinguished by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, but among the scattered dead, plants have started to grow once again. This huge volcanic eruption, almost two millennia ago, is as if a nuclear explosion were to happen today. This thought makes one fearful of such a possibility taking place, anytime now, to us. Requiem is limited to 500 numbered copies, each including a 5x7 inch original print that has been signed by the artist.
In Let the Sun Beheaded Be, Gregory Halpern focuses on the Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France with a complicated and violent colonial past. The work resonates with Halpern's characteristic attention to the ways the details of a landscape and the people who inhabit it often reveal the undercurrents of local histories and experiences. Let the Sun Beheaded Be offers a visually striking depiction of place-as it has been worked on by the forces of nature, people, and events-as well as a thoughtful engagement with the complexities of photographing in foreign lands as an interloper. A text by curator and editor Clément Chéroux grapples with Guadeloupe's colonial past in relation to the French Revolution, Surrealism, and the Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, whose writing inspired the title of the book and much of the imagery itself. A conversation between Halpern and photographer and critic Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa delves into Halpern's process, personal history, and the politics of representation.
Let the Sun Beheaded Be was produced as part of Immersion, a program of the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, in partnership with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Copublished by Aperture and Fondation d'entreprise Hermès
Ernst Haas's color works reveal the photographer's remarkable genius and remind us on every page why we love New York. When Haas moved from Vienna to New York City in 1951, he left behind a war-torn continent and a career producing black-and-white images. For Haas, the new medium of color photography was the only way to capture a city pulsing with energy and humanity. These images demonstrate Haas's tremendous virtuosity and confidence with Kodachrome film and the technical challenges of color printing. Unparalleled in their depth and richness of color, brimming with lyricism and dramatic tension, these images reveal a photographer at the height of his career.