What We’ve Read! – November Edition

Books, Books, Books. It is what we do and what we love.
In every post of What We’ve Read we hope that you are exposed to new artists and new book publishers who you might not have known before. Get inspired by new artists and their creative books.

Do you have a book/zine/publication that you would like to share with us? Follow our guidelines here to submit! We are accepting submission all day every day with no deadline!

Have Questions? Feel free to contact me at dana@aint-bad.com

Katya Demidova, Phantom Pain, 2018

Phantom pain is a well-known medical term used to describe a specific kind of pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there. This photography project explores the symptoms of phantom pain as a result of a separation. The images capture the atmosphere of the emotional journey from sadness, grieving and the feeling of loss to the inner change, acceptance and ‘letting it go’. A series of 16 photographs is accompanied by a poem-like short personal story by the artist.
Soft cover, 18,5 x 25 cm, 36pp
Letterpress embossed cover, open gauze binding, printed in Italy.

Price: $21 (18EUR)
Publisher: Snowfox Works
Artist Website: www.katyademidova.com
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Shawn Bush, A golden State, 2018

A Golden State, the first monograph by photographer Shawn Bush, is an exploration into the mythologies associated with Californian existence. By following historical and contemporary paths of ideological propagation, Bush highlights the mirage of an idealized existence connected to place. Having lived within Hollywood’s sphere of influence, the dissonance between its reality and its referent becomes increasingly removed with its role as the backdrop of Western ideology.

Price: $65 (USD) for regular edition, $125 (USD) for special edition that comes in a slipcase w/ signed print
Publisher: Skylark Editions
Artist Website: shawnbush.com
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Vicente Munoz, Virtual Transparency, 2018

Virtual Transparency is the first monograph from visual artist Vicente Muñoz, continuing the eponymous ongoing body of work which began in 2015. Accompanied with an essay by architect Paul Knox, Virtual Transparency explores light and abstraction as the primary articulators of an architectural phenomenon known as roller-wave distortion. The result of a simultaneous design innovation and maniacal failure, roller-wave distortion is a phenomenon that defines the urban environment. Considering the modern skyscraper as a signifier of strength and innovation, these photographs invite an alternative reading that explores their abstract capacity as fragile refractions of light and transparency set in dialogue with one another.

Price: $45
Publisher: Self-Published
Artist Website: vicentemunoz.xyz
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Landon Speers, Wild Rose, 2018

Canadian-born, New York-based artist Landon Speers brings his visual and musical practices together with the release of Wild Rose, a book of original photography with an accompanying album of ambient compositions. The multimedia collection encapsulates moments of stillness through vignettes of natural elements both rural and urban.

Exploring beauty in states of growth and decay, the landscapes of Wild Rose are captured with an approach akin to portraiture. Time is the hidden subject emerging from geological formations and inhabited spaces, momentarily absent of humans. An intimate sense of life long lived in these environments lies beneath the surface of every image with a spectral glow. Focused on nature’s simple gestures even in the least likely of places, Wild Rose suggests a new relationship with our surroundings and an appreciation for our world’s infinite details.

Speers wrote and recorded much of the musical score throughout the travels that produced the project’s imagery, welcoming detuned pianos and other found instruments into the process. His simultaneous escape from, and journey into, everyday life welcomes us along a path of respite from the mundane, while offering a glimpse into its splendor.

The limited edition book of photographic prints accompanied by a digital download of the album will be released in partnership with Human Pitch on November 2, 2018.

Price: $50
Publisher: Self-Published
Artist Website: landonspeers.com
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Mary Morgan, PLASTIC, 2018

The word PLASTIC manages to define two fundamental, but ironically opposing, cornerstones to modern Lebanese society. Lebanon is a major plastic surgery hub. The country has an outright obsession with physical perfection. More than 1.5 million cosmetic procedures are performed each year in the small country. Lebanon’s First National Bank even offers loans of up to $5,000 for cosmetic surgery, showing how ingrained into society this desire is.

The most popular procedure is rhinoplasty. Doctors estimate that 80 percent of the country has had a nose job, a statistic including both men and women. It is common to see teenage girls and boys wearing their nose bandage as a badge of honor; a way to brag about their socioeconomic status and their soon-to-be beauty. Women are especially pressured to rely on their beauty. Plastic surgeons said Lebanese women believe their primary purpose is to be beautiful, and ‘compete’ in beauty in order to secure the best husband. Men are quick to criticize women’s appearances. Some believe the vanity has led to high divorce rates, because people marry for beauty, not love. When the beauty fades, so does the marriage.

While the Lebanese society prides itself on its plastic glitz, it ironically has a massive plastic crisis. Lebanese stream to plastic surgeons to spend thousands of dollars in order to look ‘perfect,’ but their country meanwhile sits covered in waste, especially plastic. For years, the country has struggled with a garbage crisis. Beirut and its suburbs alone generate more than 3,000 tons of trash per day, according to government figures. While some efforts have been made to try and establish recycling, it is a new trend that has not yet taken root. It is commonplace to smell the burning of plastic in the air. Trash is dumped directly into the sea. On the beaches, mounds of garbage and plastic oat in the water and wash back onto shore. Longterm solutions are ignored in favor of burning and dumping waste — out of sight, out of mind.

Environmentally this is having a disastrous impact on Lebanon. Bacteria levels in the water have been measured at more than 100 times the amount that would prompt the closure of a public beach in New York. Some scientists estimate 1,000 to 3,000 tons of plastic are floating on the surface of the Mediterranean, with more added every year. Members of the Lebanese government have previously denied the country is experiencing a waste crisis. But it only requires eyes and a nose to determine otherwise.Living like there’s no tomorrow has created an atmosphere where plastic surgery thrives, but the environment dies.

Price: $20
Publisher: Self-Published
Artist Website: missmarymorgan.com
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Do you have a book/zine/publication that you would like to share with us? Follow our guidelines here to submit! We are accepting submission all day every day with no deadline!

Have Questions? Feel free to contact me at dana@aint-bad.com