Robin Maddock III

The third book by British photographer Robin Maddock, entitled III, incorporates three subjects, shot in three cities in the United States. Shot entirely in black and white, the three monochrome subjects take centre stage; a solitary floating sheet of paper, spilt milk, and a ping-pong ball, dropped casually onto sun-bathed sidewalks.

England –                                                        Douglas Stockdale on Robin Maddock – III   The British photographer Robin Maddock (b. 1972 Leicester, UK, resides in Los Angeles USA & the UK) has taken an interesting departure from the his previous color documentary style, evidenced in his prior two books, with a more conceptual theme photographed in black and white. His subjects included three objects that Maddock introduces into the pictorial frame; sheets of white paper, ping pong balls and milk. This is a project photographed in California (San Francisco and Los Angeles) over a span of a couple of years with black and white film. As Maddock has stated “It is a product of California, not about it”. Maddock has stated elsewhere that this book-project was a result of wanting to work on a change-up, a completely different project. His previous photographic work has garnered him some nice accolades and was developing a stylistic look. For some photographer/artist, developing a recognizable visual trademark is something that is sought after, while for others, like Maddock, it is akin to an artistic kiss of death. For this project, he chooses to include three white objects which were positioned, tossed or flowed (spilled per Maddock) somewhere within the frame. As to why these three different objects, perhaps why not, but they each have unique physical characteristics and unified by sharing the same color. Another possibility is the sexual attributes that can be attributed to these objects with the ping pong balls have maleness, the milk is both male and femaleness and the flat white paper seemingly neutral. Maddock’s ensuring photographs are a madcap range of the absurdity to the playful and witty, such as the tongue-in-cheek rubber band filled with milk or the ping pong ball sitting on top of the end of the rain spout. Maddock incorporates his own shadow into many of the photographs perhaps indicating a potential autobiographical nature of this project. His photographs are a little higher in contrast with the shadows frequently become dark masses to push into a stronger graphic appearance. This also serves to push the whiteness of his introduced objects to a flatter and almost abstract quality. Maddock frequently uses a vertical format and tightly composes his photographs. As a conceptual project, I do wonder if this book might have received as much critical attention if it was Maddock’ s first book. This book object is a bound hardcover book with a tipped-in image and embossed linen boards. Another well printed book by Grafiche Antiga (Italy), the go-to printer for Trolley Books, and the black and white photographs were printed on Tatami Ivory paper. The book does not contain an essay, pagination or captions leaving the reader entirely to their own interpretations. I did notice that the dark linen cover is a dust magnet and regretfully I did not get my book into a protective poly cover quick enough.  
Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 7.44.31 PM  
Publisher: Trolley Books ISBN: 978-1-907112-48-5 RRP: £40 / €48 / $65 Edition: 1000 Category: Photography Binding: Hardback, cloth-bound, tipped in image  

Related Posts

Maika Elan Pink Choice

Maika Elan: “Pink Choice” – Life inside Vietnam’s Gay Community

Vietnam –  Homosexuality is no longer considered a big taboo in today’s world: people have heard a lot of it, …

Oscar Monzon: KARMA

Spain –  In Karma, a project developed in Madrid between 2009 and 2013, Óscar Monzón focuses on the car as a …

Rena Effendi: Liquid Land

Azerbaijan –  “Liquid Land is co-authored with my father Rustam Effendi, a dissident scientist and entomologist who devoted his life …

Justin Maxon: When the Spirit Moves

USA- “The Sun Village is a place where families shut themselves into their homes; where people sleep in their basement …

Ines Dumig Apart Together

Ines Dumig: “Apart Together” – Regaining the lost Identity

Germany –  According to the International Organisation of Migration, there are over 200 million migrants worldwide and the geographic region …

Establishment Earthquaker : Shahidul Alam

Bangladesh –  Emaho got into a free-wheeling tête-à-tête with the legendary award-winning Bangladeshi photographer, Shahidul Alam to pry beyond his …

Erik van der Weijde: Home is where the Dog is

Holland –   Photography feature – Erik van der Weijde has produced more then 40 publications. Home is where the Dog is, his latest one, continues his …

Manik Katyal on Ernesto Bazan “ISLA”

Cuba –  With an eclectic body of enriching, honest and deeply committed work, one can only admire the talent that …

Colin Pantall on Kazuma Obara “Silent Histories”

Japan – Grave of the Fireflies is an anime film about the Second World War in Japan.  The main characters …