INFERNO by James Nachtwey
Heavy coffee table photo book available for the serious combat journalism collector
I’m selling my perfect review copy of INFERNO that was sent to Reviewer Magazine upon the book’s release by Phaidon in 2003. This large (some would say oversized) monograph will include the letter from the publisher and some other press materials. It was the photographer’s first book from this publisher. If you currently have $345 it can be yours. Contact me by email at Telephotopro@gmail.com if interested. ~Robert
Photographer’s bio from Aperture Buzz: James is an American photojournalist, born on March 14, 1948, in Syracuse, New York, USA. He was a student of the Dartmouth College where he studied Art, History, and Political Science (1966-1970). The pictures from the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement had a profound impact on him when he was still in college in the 60’s. The stories that the photographers told were in complete contradiction to the stories the political and the military leaders told the world. He wanted to be of help somehow; he chose photography.
He wanted to be a photographer only because he wanted to be a war photographer.
From publisher Phaidon’s website: James Nachtwey is the only photographer to have won the Overseas Press Club of America’s Robert Capa Gold Medal five times. Nachtwey has also been awarded the World Press Photo of the Year on two separate occasions, served as a member of the Magnum Photo agency, and contributed to Time magazine since 1984.
Yet, when it comes to wider acclaim, Nachtwey is perhaps less well known than many of his contemporaries. This is partly due to the nature of the photographer’s work.
Nachtwey has covered the Rwandan genocide, the Somali famine, the Bosnian war, the IRA hunger strikes, the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, and conflicts in Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, as well as the September 11 2001 attacks on New York.
From the Amazon listing: “Though he is probably the world’s most honored recent war photographer, James Nachtwey calls himself an “antiwar photographer,” as the preeminent critic Luc Sante notes in his excellent foreword to Inferno, a landmark collection of 382 war-crime photos. Nachtwey has taken shrapnel and had his hair literally parted by a bullet, but he’s never lost his compassionate outrage. The stunning images in this huge-format book–brutally abused Romanian orphans, Rwandan genocide victims, a rat-hunter family of Indian Untouchables barbecuing dinner, skeletal dehydration victims in Sudan, the miserable in Bosnia, Chechnya, Zaire, Somalia, and Kosovo–are excruciating to look at, yet impossible to tear your eyes away from. Nachtwey’s art is meant to force us to face unbearable facts. Faces are the key: you can’t gaze into the eyes of a Romanian toddler tied to a bed, or wired to a primitive “electromagnetic therapy” device, and not grasp the horror more fully than you would by watching a TV news item or reading a newspaper piece. (The book’s text explains each photo’s context.)Inferno is also a masterpiece in strictly aesthetic terms. The power of Nachtwey’s images transcends journalism. Bloody handprints on a living-room wall in Kosovo, the ghostly imprint of a Serb victim’s vanished body on a floor, a Hutu with crazed eyes displaying the machete gashes he received for opposing the Tutsis’ butchery, a howling orphan in a crib, one eye contracted in anger–these are compositions that depend, like Goya’s, on the artist’s skill as much as the subject’s legitimate claim on our conscience. Nachtwey’s photographs make us capable of imagining that it could have happened to us. They are hard to forget, or forgive. –Tim Appelo”