Earlier this year, when Etudes Books announced that it was to collaborate and publish a body of work with photographer Bryan Dooley, immediately this was one partnership that simply made sense.
Since its 2012 transition from JSBJ to Etudes Books, their intent to produce well curated, mature and beautifully executed photographic publications has appeared calculated and successfully realised, and in collaborating with Bryan Dooley, it would appear Etudes have made a wise and fitting choice.
The publication; Gold County Real Estate, collects and presents a series of images from Dooley’s recent and past work together in a 48 page, full colour offset print, hard bound book. As before, when discussing Dooley’s work, I find it hard to pin point just what it is that triggers such inspiration when looking at his images, and with such an abundance of impressive imagery displayed within this volume, the task becomes no less challenging and negotiable.
The title of the publication aludes to a fictional world akin to Twin Peaks, a world of wealth, beauty, 1990’s chic and mesmerising personas, but above all; a captivating mystery. Bryan Dooley’s photography is not focused on objects of immediate beauty or outlandish photographic effects, but on subtlety, the curious and underlying. With each image you ask yourself another question, distancing yourself further away from any sense of answer. Throughout, the publication exhibits that immediately recognisable Dooley aesthetic and feeling, with time and location seemingly indistinguishable, the sporadic imprint of double exposure or slight post production manipulation elegantly flitting between the pages.
No doubt the editing process of this publication would have been an intriguing process. To be granted with open access to such a talented artist’s archive, it could seem almost impossible to restrain oneself and refine a final selection of images, let alone formulate a cohesive body. But what i find most intriguing about this latest instalment from Etudes, is the relationship and mix of images from varying projects to make a fluid and outstanding experience. There have been only two books on my horizon this year, Light of Other Days by Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs and Gold County Real Estate by Bryan Dooley, with one down and only another to go, this year promises to live up to all expectations, but then again, the aforementioned rarely disappoint.
To put it simply, this is a publication that takes nothing away from the images themselves and only adds to their brilliance. A perfect match indeed.