work blog about search
 
 

Jacob Holdt

Jacob_holdt

We made our way over to the Photographers’ Gallery on Saturday to check out the Deutsche Börse Photography PrizeFour photographers were nominated for the prize, and it was won by Esko Männikkö from Finland for his retrospective show Cocktails. But for us, the real winner is Jacob Holdt, nominated for his recent book United States 1970 – 1975, published by the rather brilliant Steidl.

Here's what they have to say about the book:

In the early 1970s, when Jacob Holdt first arrived in the US with 40 dollars in his pocket, he planned to travel quickly across the country to South America. But, totally shocked and fascinated by what he discovered, he ended up staying five years. His family could scarcely believe the letters he sent them detailing the poverty he saw, so his father sent him a cheap amateur camera in order that Holdt could send home proof of his claims. Living as a vagabond, selling his blood twice a week, hitch-hiking over 100,000 miles, he depicted an incredible and unique portrait of America and its underclass. He befriended whomever offered him a lift in their car and a lift frequently became an offer to stay a few days. He never said no and ended up visiting more than 350 homes where he photographed the people he lived with: poor blacks from the ghettos, millionaires, junkies, members of the Ku Klux Klan. Holdt’s images echo the pictures of the F.S.A. and together with the work of another Dane Jacob Riis, his series have widely inspired the film-maker Lars von Trier for the movies Dogville and Manderlay.

The book features a selection of images from his American Pictures series, originally published in a bestselling book in 1977, and toured worldwide as a slideshow ever since. He’s an incredible man – just check out his curriculum vitae.

The show runs at the gallery until 6 April 2008, and is really fantastic. If you get a chance, go.

 

posted: 10 March 2008
categories: Photography
 
recommended reading

Ace Jet 170
One of the finest individual design blogs (it’s been going as long as we have!) from Irish designer Richard Weston. Covering found type, print and stuff.

Casual Optimist
If you want to know what’s happening in the world of book cover design, keep an eye on this excellent blog by Dan Wagstaff.

Creative Review
Covering design and advertising, CR has been running since 1981, under the editorship of Patrick Burgoyne since 1999. Essential reading.

Daniel Gray
Dan writes a column in Creative Review, and this is his consistently entertaining blog about design and suchlike.

Eye Magazine
The best graphic design magazine out there, from editor John L. Walters and art director Simon Esterson.

Flat File
A fantastic collection of online publications based on pieces from the Herb Lubalin Study Centre.

Grafik
Grafik is the brilliant online magazine about all things graphic design, from writers Caroline Roberts and Angharad Lewis.

Justin’s Amazing World
Justin Hobson, of Fenner Paper, is a bona fide expert on paper & print, and a charming chap to boot. His blog features in-depth analysis of the projects he’s worked on, including a few of our own.

Kottke.org
One of the oldest blogs on the web. And one of the best.

Lecture in Progress
An invaluable collection of wisdom from a range of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers et al. From the team that brought you It’s Nice That.

Spitalfields Life
The anonymous Gentle Author of this wonderful blog has promised to write 10,000 stories about the life & culture of Spitalfields in east London, writing one story each and every day.

St Bride Library
The St Bride Library houses one of the world’s finest collection of books (& related objects) about printing and design. It also hosts unmissable design talks and events.

Styling and Salvage
Rupert Blanchard is a mate of ours, and makes great furniture. This blog covers his projects, interests, and life in Margate.

Subtraction.com
Brooklyn-based designer Khoi Vinh has been writing insightfully about design, technology and culture since the turn of the millennium.

The Ride Journal
A glorious mix of the very best writing and illustration about all types of cycling. On an indefinite break now, but you can download past issues for free.