Magazine article Eye : The International Review of Graphic Design

Picture Hunter Gatherers

Magazine article Eye : The International Review of Graphic Design

Picture Hunter Gatherers

Article excerpt

Picture hunter gatherers The Graphic Eye: Photographs by International Graphic Designers Stefan G. Bucher RotoVision, £22.50

Reviewed by Liz Farrelly

The modern malaise is to over-complicate. In her chatty foreword to The Graphic Eye, Natalia Ilyin succinctly cuts critical theory to size, while the rest of this book gives the lie to creeping professionalism and the annexing of skills, by proving that you don't have be a 'photographer' to take great photographs.

Stefan G. Bucher, a German designer based in the US (see Khoi Vinh's review of his 100 Days of Monsters in Eye 68), has curated an intriguing and inspiring collection of photographs by friends, colleagues and contacts - all graphic designers - from around the world. Simultaneously at home and aboard, Bucher is a new-school flâneur, a voyeur who doesn't idle but travels fast. His heightened 'way of seeing' results from being both a designer - paid to look - and a cultural transplant, like so many of the contributors in this book. Here is evidence of designers' 'hunter-gatherer' instincts, alongside souvenirs from the spaces they inhabit.

The subject matter and technical means on offer are diverse: from experiments with equipment and materials (Ed Fella's Polaroids; Cybu Richli's pinhole camera), to attempts to capture the intangible (Roger Fawcett-Tang's LEDs; Ken Carbone's shadows), along with explorations of personal obsessions (Bucher's flying; Gregory Sylvester's bedroom shoot), and an abundance of what Matt Wingfield calls 'aesthetic indulgence'. …

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