Atelier EXB/Editions Xavier Barral, 2021. Hardcover, 196pp., 7.5 x 10.5 inches
In 1977, photographer Masahisa Fukase turned his lens toward a new companion: his cat, Sasuke. “That year I took a lot of pictures crawling on my stomach to be at eye level with a cat and, in a way, that made me a cat. It was a job full of joy, taking these photos playing with what I liked, in accordance with the changes of nature.” A year later, he acquired a second cat, named Momoe. “I didn’t want to photograph the most beautiful cats in the world but rather capture their charm in my lens, while reflecting me in their pupils,” he wrote of these images. “You could rightly say that this collection is actually a ‘self-portrait’ for which I took the form of Sasuke and Momoe.”
Featuring tipped-on cover images, this gorgeously made book is arranged in four chapters, organized around the chronology of Fukase’s life with his cats. As so often in his work, these tender images also express the photographer’s subjectivity and his connection to his subject.