I have many photographic influences in my work, but for inspiration for what a great photobook looks like in terms of editing and sequencing, I returned again and again to Robert Frank’s The Americans. I never got to meet him in person, but I felt a loss when I heard the news that he had died. In addition to his work which continued to evolve after The Americans, I also loved his dedication to pursuing his work on his own terms. In one of the recent essays I read about him, I was surprised to find out that he got rejected by Magnum. That factoid is another reminder that we don’t need validation from the establishment to succeed. RIP.
Portrait by Allen Ginsberg at Christie’s, taken after yesterday’s Aperture talk on the state of the photobook.
Mark F. Erickson (Đỗ Văn Hùng) is the author of the photobook Other Streets: Scenes from a Life in Vietnam not Lived.