Given its nature, it is relatively hard to get a good overview of contemporary photography. Photography itself has only recently been fully accepted as an art form, and many people still have somewhat warped ideas of what photography as an art form looks like. If it wasn’t for the internet, finding interesting contemporary photography would probably quite a bit harder - especially if you happen to live in places (like yours truly) where people appear to think that a photo of a flower is cutting-edge contemporary photography. However, relying on places like this blog for your daily contemporary photography fix isn’t all that satisfying, a fact that becomes immediately obvious when you get the chance to see actual photos, displayed in a gallery or book. A photo online simply isn’t the same.
Regeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow offers an introduction to fifty young photographers “of tomorrow”. I have to admit I find the idea quite silly that emerging photographers have to be young (maybe it’s just me and my own emerging grey hair that makes me say that), but still, the book provides you with short descriptions and lots of very nicely printed, high quality samples of fifty photographers, some of which you have already seen here, some not.
I think if you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably want to own this book, and if just to see some of the photos that you might be aware of already in print. I must admit that seeing some of the photos of artists that I did not link to made me change my mind about the work - it really is important to see the photos printed.
I also think I will have to disagree with the one reviewer on Amazon who dismisses the photographers in the book as students, for whom you really only see the influence of whatever teacher they had. While it is true that you might see a teacher’s influence, I think trying to chase after the newest trend that is completely unrelated to anybody else’s work might become a bit of a nightmare - and not all that satisfying in the end. The number of truly groundbreaking artists has always been quite low, and one would deprive oneself of a lot of what art can offer if one was only to look for those groundbreaking artists.
So, along Art Photography Now, Regeneration: 50 Photographers of Tomorrow offers you a good and wide overview of what’s going on in contemporary photography. Of course, you could simply rely on blogs like this one, but at least have a look at the book at a bookshop. You might change your mind about relying on the web.