By Danny Clinch
296 pages/200 photographs
Danny Clinch: Still Moving is a journey through
Clinch’s diverse portfolio from the last three
decades. The book’s 200 color and black-and-
white images, almost all of them at full bleed,
encompass a wide variety of musicians, bands, genres and photographic styles.
Let the record show that Danny Clinch is much more than just a “rock”
photographer. He’s arguably one of the most accomplished and versatile
photographers and film directors of his generation. He’s shot editorial
assignments (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, GQ and The New York Times Magazine),
advertising campaigns (American Express, Advil, Gap) and album artwork (Nas,
Bruce Springsteen, Black Keys). He’s directed music videos (Pearl Jam, The
Avett Brothers, Ben Harper, and Tom Waits) and even a few documentaries (Tim
McGraw and the Bonnaroo music festival), concert DVDs (Foo Fighters and
John Mayer) and many print ads and commercials for long-time music-lover and
fashion designer John Varvatos. Clinch’s work has been presented in numerous
galleries, and he’s published two previous books: Discovery Inn (1998) and When
the Iron Bird Flies: Tibetan Freedom Concerts 1996-1999, both of which include a
wide variety of work made in 1980s and 1990s.
This latest book is comprised of five chapters: Documentary, Friends &
Family, Backstage, Live and Portraits. Each chapter draws you into the next.
Clinch captures the subject’s personality in each image, whether posed or
candid, on stage or backstage.
A particularly interesting feature of the book is the image pairing and
sequencing. Still Moving combines then-and-now images of various artists, both
By An-My Lê
192 pages, 125 color images
famous and less well-known or emerging artists. Among them are Eminem
(2001), Eddie Vedder (2006), Foo Fighters (2005), Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of
Aerosmith (1997), Jackson Browne (2010), Blind Melon (1993), James Brown
(2003), Jeff Beck (1999) and Gary Clark Jr. (2011). In another example of deft
image pairing, a wide shot of Jay Z (2010) performing on stage in front of
thousands of fans precedes a tight shot of Bruce Springsteen (2003), bending
over backwards holding the microphone, seemingly onstage by himself.
The book captures the spirit of a celebrated music photographer and
musician. Still Moving is an essential addition to the collection for Clinch fans.
It’s difficult to comprehend the meaning of the U.S. national defense
budget—$526.6 billion for 2014, according to the Department of Defense.
An-My Lê’s new book, Events Ashore, slightly clarifies the reality of
our military industrial complex, the number of people it employs and
the equipment it builds and maintains. To create the work, Lê, who
was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, traveled around the globe
photographing non-combat operations with a large-format camera and
color negative film.
The speed, action and sense of peril common to news
photographs of conflict are largely absent from her pictures.
Instead, readers get the impression of a massive force
lumbering deliberately across the globe, from Australia to
Panama, Antarctica, Greenland and elsewhere.
In one image, divers stand on the ice-covered hull of
the USS New Hampshire nuclear submarine, its sail jutting
out of the pristine, otherwise empty white landscape of the
Arctic Sea. We see joint training exercises with the Thai
military; soldiers in repose in Haiti; military veterinarians
tending to a goat in Panama; the commanding officer
of a rescue and salvage ship exchanging flowers with
Vietnamese military officers.
In Lê’s beautiful portraits, officers and other personnel
appear placid, stoic, almost bored—another day at the office,
keeping watch on a multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier as it
ambles through the Arabian Gulf.
That figure of $526.6 billion is staggering, but as a
country we mostly accept it as the necessary status quo.
Lê’s photographs reflect this sense of normalcy. But in
doing so they also ask whether our place in the world
should require a ubiquitous U.S. military, and they urge
us to contemplate more deeply the amount of money and
effort that go into making sure the “sharp end of the spear”
hits home when we need it to. —CONOR RISCH