Sunday, 30 August 2015
The 179 photos in this book explore its physical appearance. Eric Maillet is conscious that a publication is made up of two side by side pages and he takes advantage of this by having the photos run off the edges of each page and butt up to another photo in the middle. This is contrary to the normal art photo book style where each image is centred on the page surrounded by generous margins and in the classic format only the right-hand pages carry a photo.
Silent conversations works because the two photos burst out of each spread and this makes the reader consider both images at the same time. The spread photos are linked, either by texture, pattern or shape. For example, a close-up of a horse's head faces a model's head and both have similar texture on their skin or some smoke photographed against a black background facing the similar effect with some fabric in a liquid against a white background. Many of the photos are close-ups of objects without revealing exactly what they are though the many uses of liquids, in any form, can't be disguised.
What I liked about this book was printing Maillet's photos in four colors though the majority of them appear to be black (or blue) and white but look carefully and you'll see subtle suggestions of color where you least expect to see it. There are several obvious color photos throughout the pages.
It's worth commenting on the book's excellent production. Printed by Damiani with a very fine screen (250 or 300) on a lovely silky matt art paper. The pages are unnumbered with six at the back with thumbnails of each spread and the briefest captions, just the year (and some are 2015) and somtimes the name of a model.
Maillet is rightly well known for superb fashion and studio still-life photos but away from the commissioned work you can see his other creative side through the photos in this book.