— 10×10 Photobooks

About Harper Levine and John Gossage’s selection for the 10×10 Reading Room:

At first glance, Richard Prince’s American English looks like a hastily thrown together mash up of crappy vernacular photographs. The subject matter, contrasting editions from Prince’s book collection, is personal but obtuse, and the poor lighting and seeming disregard for quality is jarring to a fault. You could be forgiven for forgetting this book. But Prince was certainly onto something larger than a simple conceptual effort of self-congratulation. Looking at American English now, it has the distinct feel of some of the dreck you see everyday on Instagram. But in 2004 there was no Instagram, just a feeling in the air that Prince tapped into and translated as if he were a cultural genie. For us, great books are those that leave you feeling vaguely uncomfortable, like you’ve seen something you think you know, but can’t quite articulate. We have tried to include selections that stand the test of many repeated viewings; books that are more objects of fascination rather than bits of entertainment.

Highlights from Harper and John’s selection:

Anthony Hernandez. Waiting, Sitting, Fishing, and Some Automobiles. (Tucson, AZ: Loosestrife Editions, 2007).

photo 1 (19) photo 2 (20) photo 3 (16)

Terry Richardson. FTW. (New York: JMC & GHB Editions, 2006).
Edition of 1000; 29 x 23 cm. (104 pp).

photo 1 (20) photo 2 (21) photo 3 (17)

Harper Levine is proprietor of Harper’s Books, a bookshop and gallery located in East Hampton, New York. He specializes in rare photography, art, and literary books, with particular emphasis on association copies, landmark items in exceptional condition, and unique examples of work personalized by artists and writers.

Since the age of 14, Mr. Gossage has devoted his life to photography and the music of Charles Edward Anderson Berry.