Photography by Consiglio Manni


Berlin I

The high roadside where we lay was white

with dust. In that narrow place we saw

the numberless: the people press and pour,

the city loom far in the fading light.


Through the tumult crowded coaches bore,

along them lines of paper flags were tacked.

Omnibuses, roof and body packed.

Automobiles, smoke, horns with their roar.


Towards the giant stone sea. But we looked west,

saw tree on tree lining the road’s long rim,

the filigree of crowns whose leaves were lost.


The ball of the sun hung vast at heaven’s seam.

Out of the sunset’s road red streamers burst.

On all heads there lay the light’s last dream.

— Georg Heym, translated by Antony Hasler

Consiglio Manni was born in Puglia in February 1989. He moved to Milan and graduated with a degree in Audio Technology from the Accademia Teatro alla Scala. He worked as a sound engineer for long enough to realize that photography was his real path. He was a staff member for three years at Besafe Studios, in Lecce. Now he is again in Milan, working for Circus Studios and as a freelance photographer. Visit his Instagram here, and check out his website.


Dreary Town (Photography)

Dreary Town

By Enrico Doria

Enrico Doria’s series Dreary Town was inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities: “Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” Doria photographed his series with a Holga camera, capturing the towns of Sicily (Trapani and Palermo), Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo, Milano, Johannesburg, and Tallin.

Thanks to Doria’s distinctive look (high-contrast, slightly shaken, and deliberately imperfect), his photographs feel at times like glimpses. The glimpse of a man or woman going to work, or to the train station; a wanderer glancing upward. Yet there is a deliberate sameness to these glimpses, which extends from Johannesburg to Paris. The sameness of modern life, of the memories created by an identical commute. Here the well-traveled city is a receptacle of memories (psychically recorded by workers and travelers), which are all alike. Doria writes that he wanted to portray the “impersonality of the city, showing the cold regularity of some urban architecture and the small places in which many of us are living, sometimes in contrast with the spaces all around.” 

Enrico Doria was born in Palermo in 1978 and received his PhD in Genetics and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Pavia. He currently works in Pavia. His photographs have been published widely in several national and international magazines, including LensCulture and Lomography. He has exhibited his photography, which he often shoots on medium format film, in various Italian and foreign cities, including at the Spaziofarini6 Gallery in Milan. Follow his work on his website here.

Doria recently prepared a book dummy for his photography series Esprits, which you can – and should! – check out here.


Ioanna Chronopoulou (Photography)

Photographs by Ioanna Chronopoulou

dichotomy < Greek dichotomía:
The images in my ongoing project “Dichotomy” are rooted in their literal meaning. A division into two parts. A subdivision into halves or pairs. A division into two mutually exclusive or contradictory groups. It’s this logical rationale that informs the pictures of the series “Dichotomy,” each set relative to the other yet wholly independent. A series of relationships we are asked to explore, to form. A subjective view of ordinary life, places and objects that are imbued with their own history. A story about Athens, but also a story for every city that is built by society and is left to fend to itself. – Ioanna Chronopoulou

Born in Athens in 1990, Ioanna Chronopoulou graduated from the Focus School of Art, Photography, and New Technologies in 2013. She continued her photographic studies in the research residency programs of the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France. She currently works as a freelance photographer, and as a Photo Editor for Kathimerini Newspaper’s Κ Magazine. You can visit her website here.


Punk Daze (photography)

Punk Daze

by John Brian King

In the early 1980s, John Brian King was photographing the stranded travelers and unfrequented places that would later appear in his unique, wonderful book LAX: Photographs of Los Angles 1980–84. At the same time, he was going to punk shows, desecrating L.A. industrial lofts, meeting John Lydon (!), and hanging out with some spectacularly dressed friends. He brought his camera along to capture the odder moments of his youth. His color photographs are vibrant and unaffected; his black-and-white shots are stark and impulsive, reminiscent of his work at the airport. “Punk Daze” is a casual, personal look into the photographer’s life, revealing, little by little, the anarchic ideas behind his artistic accomplishments.

John Brian King is a Los Angeles native who graduated with a degree in photography from the California Institute of the Arts. His photography books LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84 and Nude Reagan are now available from Spurl Editions. He designed the film titles for over thirty films, including Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love and The Ring. Additionally, he wrote and directed the feature film Redlands, an examination of creativity and horror in relation to photography. Visit his website here, and follow him on Instagram.


Charlotte Hooij (Photography)

Photographs by Charlotte Hooij

Charlotte Hooij took many of these photographs in Brussels, depicting the inner life of a historic, bureaucratic city. With brilliant colors and a refreshing candid formalism, her photographs of men and women in uncomfortable habitats are reminiscent of Georges Simenon’s portrayals of existentially lost northern Europeans.

From Pedigree, by Georges Simenon, translated by Robert Baldick (available from NYRB):

Now the street was empty, with just a thin drizzle to give it a touch of life. The shop-windows had disappeared one after another behind their iron curtains. The men with frozen noses who distributed coloured prospectuses at the doors of the dress shops had vanished into the darkness. The trams were rarer and made more din; the monotonous noise that could be distinguished in the background was that of the muddy waves of the Meuse breaking against the piers of the Pont des Arches.

In the streets all around, there were plenty of little cafés with frosted-glass windows and cream curtains, but Désiré never set foot in a café except on Sunday morning, at eleven o’clock, and then always at the Renaissance.

He was already scanning the windows inquiringly. He did not think about eating. He kept taking his watch out of his pocket and now and then he would start talking to himself.

At ten o’clock, he was the only person left on the pavement. He had scarcely so much as frowned on seeing some gendarmes’ helmets over in the direction of the Place Saint-Lambert.

Twice he had climbed the stairs, and strained his ears to catch some noise; twice he had fled, frightened, sick at heart.

“Excuse me…”

The policeman at the corner of the street, standing underneath a big dummy clock with its hands fixed, had nothing to do.

“Could you tell me the right time?”

Then with a strained, apologetic smile:

“Time seems to go so slowly when one’s waiting…”

Charlotte Hooij is a photographer and a student at the Luca School of Arts in Brussels, Belgium. Follow her work on her website and on Instagram.

Photography, Publishing

An Ugly Seduction: “Nude Reagan” Reviewed in Flavorwire

The day has finally arrived: John Brian King’s Nude Reagan is available! Or, to christen this monumental new public holiday properly: Nude Reagan Day is here! You can find John Brian King’s deviant oddity on our website and on Amazon (not in bookstores).

Flavorwire’s Moze Halperin got a sneak peek at the book, and he had some lovely things to say:

Reagan as a symbol whose repercussions still feel forced upon American citizens makes for rather disquieting photography, particularly when they seek to highlight, as the press release describes, Reagan’s “own frozen, Brylcreem-lathered satanic countenance” against “mold green…muddy gray… brilliant white…[and] dense, all-encompassing black” and resting imposingly atop displays of bare female triumph, self-presentation, and sexuality, complicating the country’s fervent obsession with and the Right’s frequent rapturous praise of the former President. Here, he’s both a grotesque imposition and an ugly seduction.

So enjoy June 1 – Nude Reagan Day! And don’t forget to take 10% off orders over $50 and over with the promo code: spurl.

Photography, Publishing

An Interview with John Brian King, a Playlist, and More

The photographer chatted with Impose Magazine writer Matt Draper about his book LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84The article features other photographs taken by John Brian King in the 1980s (including photographs of Disneyland and the band Public Image Ltd/PiL), as well as a playlist of what the photographer was listening to at that time.

That, and a few choice quotes, like…

“Los Angeles in 1980 was the year Dorothy Stratten was murdered and Kim Kardashian was born – and I know which celebrity I prefer.”

Available now. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Publishing, Photography

“LAX” Featured in Slate (with an interview!)

Slate writer Jordan G. Teicher interviewed John Brian King via e-mail about his photography book LAX. The resultant article, which appeared in Behold: Photo Blog on Slate on November 30, is a fascinating look into King's aesthetic and photographic process.

John Brian King was 18 when he first started making photos at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It was 1980, and only a year earlier he’d purchased his first photography book by Weegee, who is famous for his flash-heavy, black-and-white photos of urban life. The influence is clear in King’s series, “LAX,” which appears, along with another series, “LA,” in LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84, published by Spurl this month.  
“I think the photographs in my book stand out as documents of a disappeared time—for me and my subjects—and a visual commentary of how I perceived humanity in my youth,” King said via email.
“I loved photographing these travelers arriving at the airport, brutally assaulted by this sea of ugliness, attempting to cope. I wanted to show, through the stark art of black-and-white photography, the dry vulnerability and humor of these people.”

Available now. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

The Weary And Harried Travelers Of LAX In The Early 1980s

Photographer John Brian King spoke to Danny Jensen of LAist about what drew him to LAX and what has changed since he took these photos. The interview is accompanied by a slideshow of images from the book. Plus, in even more awesome news, LAX is now available at Skylight Books in Los Feliz.

Looking back on the photos, what has changed about LAX and Los Angeles in general over the years in your opinion?

LAX back then was always in a constant state of controlled anarchy; now it is just controlled, fixed and rigid. Having been to many other airports since I photographed “LAX,” I now try to avoid flying through LAX at all costs; I currently live in Palm Springs, which has a genius open-air airport designed by the noted mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler (who also is the architect of my house).

To me, Los Angeles has become banal, corporate, dysfunctional, and aesthetically inert. When I took the photographs, it was the era of punk rock shows at the Whiskey, “Repo Man” being filmed in my neighborhood, and performance art by Mike Kelley at LACE—an atmosphere that I thrived in.

Available now. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

L.A. By Night – Interview with John Brian King

LAX was featured in Amadeus, an arts and culture magazine based in LA, with text by Taylor Wojick. The article includes an interview with photographer John Brian King. Here's a little excerpt.

Observational documentation and archival footage is what allows my generation to gain a better understanding of the past, through an unbiased visual narrative. What sort of impact do you think these photographs will have in 60 or even 100 years?
John Brian King: To my mind, there is no such thing as an “unbiased visual narrative.” Even cameras that are technically “unmanned” – bank surveillance cameras, police dash cams, Google Maps cameras – create their own biased narratives by the very nature of the people who control them.
A hundred years from now, I hope my photographs will be viewed as another tiny blip of aesthetic evidence of humanity’s absurdity and possible decline. I would be haunting someone from my grave if my photographs were curated by a nostalgic academic who was only interested in recontextualizing them into a horrible miasma akin to “Humans of New York” or “The Family of Man.”

Available now. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

Flashback: Los Angeles Airport in the 1980s

LAX was featured in the fabulous AnOther Magazine, with text by Maisie Skidmore and – if we may be so bold – a terrific slideshow of images.

"I don’t want to be nasty," Karl Lagerfeld told Susannah Frankel shortly before the beginning of Chanel’s S/S16 airport extravaganza at Paris Fashion Week, “but of course in an airport, with the bus tours, it’s not the same as an airport as it was in the past, with first class, when travelling was something people dressed for.” It’s an incisive observation, as it is Lagerfeld’s wont to make, but of course he has a point. “We live in another world,” he summarises, and it's this world, in which airports are no longer the domain of the rich and famous, which is the subject of a new book of photographs by John Brian King, entitled LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980-84.

Releasing November 2, 2015. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

From Airport to City: Moody Photos of 1980s Los Angeles at Night

LAX was featured in Flavorwire over the weekend, with a terrific write-up by Alison Nastasi and a slideshow of John Brian King’s photographs.

You’re probably already familiar with the work of photographer John Brian King. He’s designed the film titles for dozens of movies, including Boogie NightsThe RingMagnoliaPunch-Drunk Love, and Lilo & Stitch. King also directed a movie called Redlands, set in the California city. But it was over 30 years ago that King first had his eye on the Golden State. 
His photographs, focused on the harried travelers bustling in and out of the Los Angeles International Airport and the gritty streets of Los Angeles at night, haven’t seen the light of day since the ‘80s. Those black-and-white negatives have finally reemerged in a new book published by Spurl Editions, LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980–84, available on November 2. 
The photographer’s monograph tells a parallel story that ushers us from airport to city — the chaos of the LAX lobby to the Sunset Strip, revealing images of a metropolis that has since vanished.

Releasing November 2, 2015. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

“LAX” Featured in KCET’s Artbound

KCET’s Artbound features photographs from John Brian King’s LAX, as well as the photographer's afterword. 

Releasing November 2, 2015. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.

Photography, Publishing

“LAX” Featured in We Heart

“John Brian King's confrontational style ignites the tension at early '80s LAX…” writes Rob Wilkes of We Heart, a journal that combines in-depth stories with design-led news from all areas of contemporary culture. He goes on:

There’s a palpable sensation of restless tension that seems to permeate the atmosphere at airports, and the bigger and busier the terminal, the more that tension is felt. There’s simply too many people all trying to do the same thing in too little space. The stop-start queueing, the frantic dashes for a far-flung gate, or just as often the long, boring wait to be called. Lost baggage, cancelled flights, forgotten passports, screaming kids, travellers both nervous and the exhausted, bursts of joyous excitement — emotion at every step.
Even in the days before the stringent anti-terror security measures, airports were a pretty fraught experience. Back in the early ’80s, brash young photographer John Brian King threw himself into the potential powder keg that was Los Angeles International Airport with flash blazing — deliberately intrusive and often unwelcome — to see what might combust. Aside from the human drama, King was also drawn to the fabric of the building itself, and the detritus and damage left behind by the transit of so many people. Born and raised near LAX, King was fascinated by flight from a young age; his childhood home was on a street called Flight, he went to a school named after Orville Wright, and his father was an engineer on both the B-52 bomber and the space programme. He shot his airport images while a teenager before leaving for art school, later returning to take up a night-time survey of Los Angeles’ streets for a second series.
The negatives remained in a box for 30 years as King abandoned photography for writing and filmmaking, but the two series are now seeing the light of day together in this photobook. LAX: Photographs of Los Angeles 1980-84 by John Brian King is published by Spurl Editions, and due for release in November.

Releasing November 2, 2015. 24 cm x 22 cm softcover, shrink-wrapped, 132 pages (117 black & white photos), limited edition of 750 copies, afterword by the photographer in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.