PDN readers voted Richard Misrach’s 2007 book On The Beach one of the most influential books of the decade in a survey conducted for our January 30th Visions of the Decade issue. Taken from hotel room windows in Hawaii over the course of three years from 2002–2005, Misrach’s large-format photographs of beach scenes were published by Aperture in a beautiful oversize book.
“I was drawn to the fragility and grace of the human figure in the landscape,” Misrach wrote of the series. “My thinking about this work was influenced by the events of 9/11, particularly by the images of individuals and couples falling from the World Trade Towers, as well as by the 1950s Cold War novel and film, On the Beach. Paradise has become an uneasy dwelling place; the sublime sea frames our vulnerability, the precarious nature of life itself.”