I filed this with Blogcritics about an hour and a half ago, which was still Saturday. So if that’s close enough for jazz I’m still caught up with my weekly photo book series. Article first published as Book Review: Foto en Copyright by G.P. Fieret on Blogcritics.
I recently asked staff at Dashwood Books, New York’s premiere photography bookstore, to recommend something Dutch. The Netherlands has a way with the photo book, from the various “found photo” projects Erik Kessels cranks out in series like In Almost Every Picture and Useful Photography; or the formal elegance and inner life that Rineke Dijkstra captures in her portraits of adolescents. So it was a pleasant surprise to be handed the work of G. P. Fieret, who is nothing like his more celebrated countrymen. Born in The Hague, his work has begun to be exhibited more in the States, particularly at Chelsea’s Deborah Bell gallery, whom I must thank for selling me a copy of this out of print tome (I’ll write about the recently published second volume in this series next week.)
Finally, there’s the Fieret brand. The title of this volume comes from a peculiar technique born not simply of aesthetic daring but of paranoia: nearly all of the artist’s prints are signed and stamped, “Copyright G. P. Fieret,” in order to discourage theft. These aren’t the subtle or not so subtle watermarks you see in the online protfolios of protective photographers today, but a bold design strategy, single circular stamps flagging white spaces and in one case plastered across the forehead of a smiling model. The artist’s photographic prints, when reproduced, may look very much like xerox copies; but G.P. Fieret is an original.