Tim Davis is one of the more fascinating photographers I've found out about recently. I learned about him from Jeff Ladd's book recommendations for us, posted last August. Jeff recommended Tim's book My Life in Politics, which I still don't own. It's a curious set of pictures. It would be difficult to imagine more foursquare, nondescript photographs—they make the economical Zoe Strauss seem florid by comparison—but because the set as a whole has such a strong hand of authorship, the pictures become fascinating. But really only collectively, and presumably in sequence. I end up unsure just what, and how much, the "author" (i.e., the photographer) means, and how much of the ruminations I bring to the pictures come from me. At the very least, from a didactic standpoint, it's a fine object lesson about the authorial possibilities of pictures. You can see some at Davis's website. But be warned, the pictures don't grab; be prepared to spend some time, and to bring something to them.
"Permanent collection" is equally fascinating in that it seems like such a dull idea on its face (and of course Elliott Erwitt came and went from the same territory long ago), yet the pictures themselves evoke thoughtfulness, perhaps arising from the photographs' insistence on the paintings' corporeality.
There's a book, too, from Nazraeli, of a mere 72 pages, that seems to be slipping into unavailability.
Featured Comment by Gavin: "Just noticed that on Tim Davis's website in the 'Permanent Collection' area is a photo called 'Betty.' This is a photo of one of Gerhard Richter's paintings of his daughter, made from a photograph. The painting, unlike many of his other 'photo paintings,' is not distorted, and when you view it from a short distance looks like a photo. We seem to be going in circles."
Featured Comment by Calvin Amari: "The 'Betty' image is even more circular than suggested. The Davis photo, as noted, indeed is of a Gerhard Richter painting, which itself is derived from a photo (presumably taken by Richter himself). What sometimes is not fully apprehended is the fact that the subject, Richter's daughter, is not turned staring into space. Rather, she is looking back at one of her father's grey monochromatic paintings rather than at Richter himself. Hence the matryoshka-like nesting problem that Davis extended begins with a painting. (So far as I know, Richter's Grey Painting series, generally dating from the late '60s and early '70s, was not derived from photographs, but one can speculate about exposure problems....)"