The Many Lives of Erik Kessels

& others. Aperture. Apr. 2017. 576p. photos. bibliog. ISBN 9781597114165. $65. PHOTOG
OrangeReviewStarAmsterdam-based Kessels (creative director, KesselsKramer; editor, Useful Photography) has pursued a hybrid career as advertising art director and photography collector, curator, and artist. He has published over 50 books showcasing his ability to find themes (humorous, relevant, and thought provoking) in snapshots, family albums, and archival photos that most would consider failed attempts, mistakes, or simply banal images. Kessels's previous books have been published in Europe, so this title, drawing together many of his photo projects, will introduce his work to U.S. audiences. Coinciding with a retrospective exhibit at Camera: Italian Centre for Photography in Turin, Italy, it is larger than a trade volume and hefty, with ribbon place markers, a slipcase, matte stock, and sections organized by color, it resembles a limited-edition artist book.
VERDICT Kessels combines a photo editor's knack for eye-catching concepts with an artist's ability to bend our perception in fresh directions. Recommended for readers interested in photography, graphic design, and fine art.

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