Our book review of Photo Art: The New World of Photography in Paperback by Uta Grosenick & Thomas Seelig

Title: Photo Art: The New World of Photography

Author: Uta Grosenick & Thomas Seelig

ISBN: 0500287112

Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd

Edition: Paperback

RRP: £24.95

Dimensions: 520 pages, 27.2 x 22 x 4.2 cm

It’s hard to garner a sense of the true scale and diversity of the current state of photography. With the introduction and continued development of the digital age, it can be argued that photography has become more omnipotent and diverse than ever before, so to get a true picture of where photography currently stands is a difficult undertaking, yet one that Photo Art: The New World of Photography tackles admirably. Featuring some 112 photographers and photographer-collectives, Photo Art serves as ‘a comprehensive survey of photography in the early 21st century’. What the reader finds is subject matter ranging from the most modern in Ruud Van Empel’s almost-unsettling digitally manipulated composite portraits (one of which adorns the cover), through to the more conventional city studies of Rut Blees Luxemurg, showing that while we are in modern photographic times, there is still a wide range of styles on show from modern photographers. While the subject matter is not always either the easiest on the eye in the conventional sense – your more likely to find an abstract portrait of a clown than a rolling landscape or sunset on a seaside, for example – the accompanying commentaries allow the reader to understand what exactly the images, and the featured photographer, are attempting to convey where simple inquisition may fail. An enlightening, inspirational and almost-essential collection.

 What Digital Camera Rating: 93%