Flowers, Skulls, Contacts by David Bailey
Some people will read deeply into this leather-bound book. You know the kind. They’ll say the eclectic juxtaposition of the cult photographer’s recent still-life snaps of flowers and skulls with his contact sheets from the 60s – featuring the likes of Roman Polanski, Jean Shrimpton, Man Ray, Mia Farrow and more – is symbolic, subscribing to the vanitas tradition, a poignant and timely comment on the mortality. You can’t blame, them really. Think about it – wilted roses between the same sheets as a young John Lennon. But, no. For Bailey, the flowers, skulls and contacts are simply different projects that he was working on simultaneously and decided to combine because he likes the idea of “eclectic collections”. Why not? Read it how you like, just make sure you read it.
(Published by Steidl.)