Review: Paul Shambroom - Picturing Power


Book Reviews, Photobooks

After more than twenty years of work, Paul Shambroom has assembled a large body of work, most of whose parts deal with aspects of power (for some details, see my conversation with Paul). In early 2008, Paul’s work became the subject of a retrospective, first shown at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis; and thankfully, a companion book (the word “catalogue” doesn’t really do it full justice) was produced: Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power.

Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power contains examples of all of Paul’s photography (up until the end of 2007), from Factories up to Security. But there is more. In addition to the photography, there is an interview with the artist plus a series of articles about different aspects of the work, with background information and context. In a nutshell, Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power is about as good a retrospective as I could wish for.

What makes Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power particularly wonderful is not just its contents, but also how it is produced. There are two different types of paper, one for the images, one for the text; and a graphic designer spent quite a bit of time on making the design and typesetting look contemporary and pleasing for the reader - the kind of attention to detail that I’m a true fan of. A highly recommended book, not just for fans of Paul’s work, but also for people who are interested in an in-depth introduction to an artist’s work, with a lot of background.