Book Review: Do or Die
The Human Condition in Painting and Photography
This book was published in conjunction with an exhibition held in Cologne. The book strives to show visual links between painted works and photography. I discovered this work as part of a college project to investigate the works of Jeff Wall and Tom Hunter (although neither of them have works in the book).
The book opens with three essays each of which discuss crossovers of themes in both mediums. The layout can be a little confusing as texts are given in both English and German. The main photographic section shows the inspiration or linked painting alongside a contemporary image. Some of the similarities in composition and lighting are striking but in other images the links seem tenuous. The book ends with useful description and details of all the images in the book and this is a great touch.
The book has a quality feel similar to a mid-range Blurb production and I would not have been surprised had their logo been emblazoned on the final page. The majority of the photo pages have a black background and this helps to make the colours much more vivid, the very small section with white backgrounds feels far more contemporary and it would have been nice if the whole book had been produced in this way.
I enjoyed working through this book and it forced me to broaden my research beyond the photographic and into the world of paintings. A modern day does not necessarily need a great deal of technical skill due to the processing power of camera but he/she must understand the basic rules of composition, rules that painters have been mastering for hundreds of years.
You could buy a copy of the book from Amazon HERE