For this end-of-the-year list, we asked friends and colleagues around the world to recommend their personal favorite photobooks of 2022. As you will see, it’s an eclectic mix, and this compilation represents a wide range of personal tastes. As such, there are many other great books that deserve attention but did not make it to this short list. Likewise, these titles do not pretend to be the “best” books of the year, but they are personal favorites that these photography experts like to share with their friends.
Absent of an essay or any explanatory text, this monograph of photographs illustrating commonplace American social rituals benefits from the opacity. Left to puzzle over the connections between quiet images of people in familiar settings such as high school dances, military ceremonies, marriage receptions, and sporting events, one soon begins to identify a running theme of simple human touch. The expression of desire through physical contact is counterbalanced by the restraint imposed by social protocol. Other leitmotifs including questionable consent, uncertain homosociality, race relations, and socioeconomic imbalance all contribute to the blood boiling beneath the skin. The psychological and compositional complexity of Ken Graves and Eva Lipman’s photographs are showcased with intelligent consideration in this book of tasteful and disciplined design which sets its audience adrift in a sea of familiar, often uncomfortable human interactions. -Brian Clamp, Director, CLAMP