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.
This book embodies Japanese street photography now. Composed of black-and-white photos taken throughout Tokyo’s bustling wards, Friction / Tokyo Street reveals unexpected meaning and beauty in the mundane, be it in an image of a girl navigating a zebra crossing, cropped legs standing on a subway platform, shifting reflections in a store window, or a pigeon caught mid-flight. Suzuki captures the spontaneous gestures, glimpses and abstractions that comprise the best street photography. Yet as the book’s title reveals, it is the conflicting and contradictory energies of the street that lie at the core of his project: "Through my own eyes... I would like to express the tension, the edged frustration, the taut atmosphere and the feelings that beat, inherent in the city."
Sydney-based Jon Setter (b. 1989, Detroit) makes photographs that attempt to reveal the unseen aspects of urban spaces and architecture. Often working with subjects discovered by chance on unprescribed walks, he documents cities from peculiar viewpoints. Colours, patterns, materials and textures of the urban vernacular are methodically developed into an abstracted expression of space to expand our reading of the cityscape.
Eboundja is a project that occupies Reinout van den Bergh from 2011 onwards. Since 2009, the thirty families of the same-named fishing village in southern Cameroon are in great uncertainty about their future. The village is situated in the middle of a coastal strip where the Chinese, in exchange for Cameroon’s iron ore, are constructing a deep sea harbour. The inhabitants are vulnerable to the combination of a corrupt government and megalomaniac project developers. In a series of photographs van den Bergh shows, with great commitment, the decline as well as the intimacy and beauty of the small community; the resignation but also the pride and resistance.
As of 2006 van den Bergh has been curator of the Dutch BredaPhoto festival. His work has been exhibited in various museums in Eastern and Western Europe and Africa, and published in several books and other publications.
Between 1983 and 1987 along the California/Mexico border, Ken Light took his Hasselblad camera and flash and rode along with US Border Patrol agents in the middle of the night as they combed the Otay Mesa looking for "illegal aliens.” He was there when they were apprehended - captured by authorities as well as the photographer's flash. The black and white images are stark, impromptu mug shots in the desert, taken at a moment of extreme vulnerability, when hope gave way to despair, migrants caught in a cruel game of hide and seek.
Light's photographs and José Ángel Navejas' first hand, compelling memoir, presented in both English and Spanish, offer testimony of the harrowing night border crossing of those desperately seeking a chance at a better life. A day after Navejas first crossed the US border from Mexico, he was caught and deported back onto the streets of Tijuana. Undeterred, he crawled back through a tunnel to San Diego, where he entered the United States forever.
In piercing words and in strobe lit images caught against the dark of night, Midnight La Frontera's immediacy underscores the struggle and defiance of those who make the perilous hike for days and weeks in search of the American Dream.