The photographer Samuel Fosso is widely considered one of Africa’s most important contemporary artists. Last February, amid catastrophic violence in the Central African Republic, Fosso’s studio was ransacked and much of his archive destroyed. Despite this, the Walther Collection in New York has managed to stage a solo exhibition of Fosso’s work.

All images copyright Samuel Fosso, courtesy the Walther Collection and Jean Marc Patras Galerie



Shōmei Tōmatsu - At first glance, it looks like a skinned cat or dog, perhaps even a suckling pig hanging outside a roadside restaurant. On closer inspection, it could be the corpse of a mutant creature from the depths of David Cronenberg’s imagination. It is, in fact, a beer bottle that has been fused into a misshapen, almost muscular, form by the unimaginably intense heat of a nuclear blast.

Shomei Tomatsu’s most well-known photograph, simply entitled Melted Bottle, Nagasaki, 1961, is also one of his most surreal. It was taken while he was on a magazine assignment to photograph the reconstruction of the devastated city. Tomatsu, then 31, had, like many Japanese people, chosen not to confront the trauma of Nagasaki, but what he found there made him rethink his attitude to his country’s history as well as to photography. He set out to try and record a city that, like the country as a whole, was intent on building its future while wiping out many traces of its past. (via)