Sunday, August 5, 2007

Home by Nicholas Nixon

I’ve just discovered a press whose care and craftsmanship towards bookmaking makes their products a must see for any art booklover. Lodima Press has actually been around since 1981, it was founded by the photographer Michael A. Smith to self-publish his own books and maintain the highest quality in production that other publishers would not invest. Starting in 2004, they have been publishing the Lodima Press Portfolio Book series.

These portfolio books use 600-line screen quadtone reproduction on heavy paper stock. Each book contains 10 to 18 images along with a statement by the artist. They are published in a series of 1000 softbound editions. Lodima offers a subscription service for the entire series or they can be purchased individually. At $24.95 they are a very good deal considering the quality of materials and production. By subscription, there is a 20% savings as each book is $19.95. Lodima is publishing four to six of these books per year. There are also hardbound editions of this series available for $100.00 per book signed and numbered but these are available only by subscription. Lodima books also come with a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not pleased for any reason.

I have just gotten number one in the portfolio series entitled Home by Nicholas Nixon. This book contains 18 photographs made within or around Nixon’s residence.

"I always look hard at whatever is in front of me. If I like what I see, I have to make a photograph of it. I just can’t help myself. That, and because I love them so, are why there are so many pictures of my home and my family."

As I have spoken highly of Nixon before, it can be expected that I find this a book of beautiful and exciting images and I do. There is an ease at which in this setting of home that Nixon directs our attention towards something that we think we may know, until of course, we see his description and it seems as if we are looking for the first time.

Like the image of the curtain in my comp above. On first glance, it doesn’t seem like much but upon closer inspection it reveals itself to be a very complex image. From the small triangle of light that forms on the wall opposite the curtain to the straightness of the stitched curtain seam and how it accents the straight lines of the room’s corner, I might get embarrassed to express how much this image interests me. It is just a curtain and a wall after all…no?

"I know that I often fail – in the grand hope that a good one (photograph) might evoke everybody’s home – but I want to try anyway. It’s a way of making moments of whim, of feeling, have more shape than words could ever give them."

In one photograph, a fence seen from above curves and twists seemingly at the mercy of the ground onto which it is meant to control and delineate boundaries. Another uses the dynamic focal ability of his 8X10 camera to focus in on the smudges and condensation on a glass window pane to produce one of the best and more unexpected images in the book.

The design is very clean and elegant and does not stray from the traditional. All of these books in this series conform from one title to the next in design. They all follow an 8 5/8”x 9 5/8” trim size and are 24 pages in length.

There are already 12 books in this series and were released as follows:

1. Nicholas Nixon
2. Carl Chiarenza
3. George Tice
4. Keith Carter
5. Linda Connor
6. Larry Fink
7. Arthur Tress
8. Marilyn Bridges
9. Paul Caponigro
10. Douglas Mellor
11. Hans Bol
12. Robert Adams

Book Available Here (Nicholas Nixon Home)

Buy online at Lodima