Synopses & Reviews
In his previous successful volumes, Flowers
and Rare Orchids
, acclaimed photographer Béla Kalman captured the colorful beauty of and provided new perspectives on flowering plants. Now, in his latest work, Kalman turns his exceptional eye to succulents, creating a unique photographic collection of 120 full-color images that is at once striking, otherworldly, surprising, virtually three-dimensional, and nothing short of spectacular.
Photograph after photograph, Kalman's work captures the many textural, sensual, and sculptural qualities of these plants, bringing to mind the work of contemporary sculptors Henry Moore and Isamu Noguchi. The variety is staggering and fascinating and wild: some succulents look like golf balls lightly dusted with moss, some resemble an Art Deco skyscraper. Some have antlerlike growths, while others could pass for a plate of fresh spinach linguine or a model of a spaceship from another planet. Kalman's visual point of view reveals the natural artfulness of these exotic plants-whether the size of an olive or a mature diva-in every breathtaking picture.
Containing an introduction and informative, witty captions by noted succulent authority Steven Hammer and designed so that each photographic image set against a rich black background, Succulents is sure to enchant photography aficionados and gardeners alike.
Reveals the unique characteristics and intriguing artfulness of more than 120 varieties.
Turning his exceptional eye to some of nature's most unique creations, acclaimed photographer Bela Kalman has created in Succulents a photographic work that is at once striking, otherworldly, surprising, virtually three-dimensional, and nothing short of spectacular. Every photograph in this dynamic book is set against a rich black background, which captures the many textural, sensual, and sculptural qualities of these unusual plants. The variety is staggering: some look like golf balls lightly dusted with moss, and some resemble an Art Deco skyscraper; some have antlerlike growths, while others could pass for a plate of fresh spinach linguine or a model of a spacecraft from another planet. Their vernacular names are no less colorful: Greater Dumplin', Baby Toes, Mexican Old-Man, Brain Cactus, Tiger Chaps, and Cats Jaw. With an introduction and witty, informative captions by noted succulent authority Steven Hammer, Succulents not only identifies each of the 120 exotic plants within, but also reveals their unique characteristics and intriguing artfulness.
Celebrates and examines succulents from an artistic perspective and serves as an authoritative guide to identification.
About the Author
Béla Kalman was born in Hungary and emigrated to the United States during the 1956 uprising. In addition to his career in advertising photography, Kalman's highly acclaimed work is represented in numerous museum collections and has appeared in many magazines, exhibits, and books, including Angkor, Indian Country with Tony Hillerman, The Third Eye, Flowers,
and Rare Orchids
. In 1984, he was appointed as a lifetime Master of the Federation of International Artistic Photographers. Of the twenty-five photographers in the world who hold this title, Kalman is the only American. He lives with his wife in Boston and on Cape Cod.
Steven Hammer is a cultivator of and expert on succulents who writes and lectures widely on the subject. He is the author of The Genus Conophytum: A Conograph and Lithops: Treasures of the Veld. A contributing editor to Mesembs of the World, he has written for various gardening publications, including Fine Gardening, American Gardener, and the journals for the plant societies at which he lectures. A research fellow at the University of Cape Town, he has been responsible for the official description of over fifty new species of succulents and has discovered many more. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and lives in Vista, California.