Soth, Alec (Photographer); Ionesco, Eugene & Various Lyricist Contributions. SONGBOOK. London, England: MACK, 2014. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 144 pages. As New.

Collection of black-and-white photographs. One of the most beautiful and most valuable photography books in our Internet/Social Media Age. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now scarce. An austerely elegant production by Alec Soth and Gregoire Pujade-Lauraine: Oversize-volume format. Green cloth boards with titles embossed on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Alec Soth. Quotation from Eugene Ionesco. Lyrics from The Great American Songbook by Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, and others. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Alec Soth's "Songbook". "Known for his haunting portraits of solitary Americans in 'Sleeping by The Mississippi' and 'Broken Manual', Alec Soth has recently turned his lens toward community life in the country. To aid in his search, Soth assumed the increasingly obsolescent role of community newspaper reporter. From 2012-2014, Soth traveled state by state while working on his self-published newspaper, The LBM Dispatch, as well as on assignment for the New York Times. From upstate New York to Silicon Valley, Soth attended hundreds of meetings, dances, festivals, and communal gatherings in search of human interaction in an era of virtual social networks. With 'Songbook', Soth has stripped these pictures of their news context in order to highlight the longing for connection at their root. Fragmentary, funny, and sad, 'Songbook' is a lyrical depiction of the tension between American individualism and the desire to be united" (Publisher's blurb). Soth's Songbook alternates seamlessly between solo ("individualism") and group ("unity") thematic portraits. It ends with a melancholy coda (a suite of eight photographs of solitary figures in the landscape) just as some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs do. When it comes to putting together a book that holds together perfectly, not a single wrong note, Alec Soth has few peers. Still, his work is not just a formalist exercise. It is acutely beautiful because Soth handles otherwise heavy socio-philosophical themes with a light touch, that is to say, as an artist (rather than a philosopher). An absolute "must-have" title for Alec Soth collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen-marker on the title page by Alec Soth. This title will become a contemporary photography classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. 73 black-and-white plates. Alec Soth's "Sleeping By The Mississippi" was selected as one of the greatest photography books in "The Photobook". One of the most brilliant living photographers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ALEC SOTH TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 191016402X. $250.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on April 23, 2017.