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LET THE LIGHT IN: 10 PHOTO BOOKS TO COP THIS SPRING/SUMMER

You need look no further than our name to recognise the importance of duality in our DNA. There is an intrinsic dichotomy between dark and light, but given that one can only exist in relation to the other, the relationship is also one of balance and mutual dependence. Yin and yang.

Co-founder Sarah represents our light. “It lifts… literally… from the heaviness of the dark. In our branding, in our artists, in the conversations and subject matter of imagery. It gives us an opportunity to explore colour and artists who work with colour.”

Here, find Darklight Art’s pick of photobooks which are the essence of this definition; work which is exuberant in its celebration of a life lived in full colour, buoyantly bright, uplifting and triumphant.

Maisie Cousins | Darklight Art best Photo Books list

RUBBISH, DIPPING SAUCE, GRASS PEONIE BUM
[2019] Maisie Cousins 

To put together a list of photobooks which explore colour and not include a splash of Maisie Cousins would be sacrilegious; for the colour in Rubbish, Dipping Sauce, Grass Peonie Bum is explosive, a full-on assault of saturated fuchsias and deep, punchy blues. Even the gold cover reflects light.

08.14-10.19
[2020] Rosie Marks

Marks’ debut is a colossal ode to life in all its unvarnished absurdity. The freedom of her subjects – largely unaware they’re being captured by Marks’s discreet iPhone lens – lends a sense of ease and lightness to a pretty heavy number: some 1000 photographs. Marks’s romantic, wandering eye stumbles across the sweetest scenes and most peculiar encounters.

RANKIN X MARCO | DARKLIGHT ART PHOTO BOOKS
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MARCO X RANKIN
[2019] Rankin & Marco Antonio

The beautiful looks featured within the pages of this book are about as subtle as a heart attack; lovers of the understated look away now. The poppy palette and playful designs illustrate the two artists’ spirited sense of humour.

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FEELING SEEN: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF CAMPBELL ADDY
[2022]

If there’s one word to describe this monograph by photography sensation Campbell Addy, it’s optimistic. Addy’s meteoric rise, as well as his artistic vision, are life-affirming, the stories he tells even more so.

Irving Penn: Still Life | Best photography books on Darklight Art

STILL LIFE: IRVING PENN PHOTOGRAPHS, 1938–2000
[2001]

The technical and compositional genius of Penn’s work is no secret, but what his still life photographs bring to the table is a real sense of fun. The arrangements are modern and clean, but unpredictable and often full of movement [no easy feat for a still life], as if the objects have been flung into the air and left to arrange themselves by gravity in a kind of organised chaos.

SILVER LAKE DRIVE
[2018] Alex Prager

There is undeniable darkness to the tone of Prager’s work, the emotions captured are raw and often melancholic, but Prager’s cinematic stories are told through a language of intense colour which perfectly marries darkness with light. A bit of us!

PRESTON BUS STATION
[2015] Jamie Hawkesworth

In a project that seems a far cry from the exquisite fashion editorial for which he is predominantly known, Hawkesworth’s signature warmth is hard at work, capturing the fascinating folk and Brutalist architecture of this place of transience.

FATHER
[2019] Harley Weir

Father is a visual analysis of expressions of masculinity, as seen by a woman, and told in full, expressive colour. It’s remarkable in its freshness.

Pools by Kelly Klein | Our favourite photo books | Darklight Art

POOLS
[1992] Kelly Klein

Klein’s book is a compendium of archival work from photographers celebrating that most joyful of subjects; the swimming pool. Not only does light shimmer on the undulations of the water but one feels a certain lightness – weightlessness even – by floating on the surface, a feeling these photographs immediately bring to mind.

WHAT TO DO WITH A MILLION YEARS
[2018] Juno Calypso

Nobody understands pink quite like Juno Calypso. Images which first appear saccharine in their femininity, but within which there’s always something more at play, What To Do With a Million Years is a positively cinematic experience of a book.

FIN.

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