Gillian Laub is a photographer and filmmaker who currently resides in New York. Laub has spent countless years photographing everything from the coverage of the second intifada in the Middle East with portraits and testimonies from those directly and indirectly harmed by the conflict to examining and investigating issues of racism in the south of America. She’s been recognized and interviewed by NPR, CNN, Good Morning America, and Times Talk, to name a few. She also contributes to publications like Time Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Vanity Fair.
While Laub has an impressive track record and has created vast amounts of meaningful work, her new book Family Matters is one that she states she “poured her heart and soul into,” according to her Instagram.
On the cover of Family Matters, an image of a grey-haired tan-skinned man adorned with a gold chain and Burberry swim trunks grasping onto a sandwich sits stoically. The choice of this image for the cover draws the reader in as it’s not just Laub’s family member, it’s everyone’s; it’s relatable, real, and raw.
This book documents her close-knit Jewish family, and each page seeps with fierce emotion and loyalty, even as the stereotypical familial anger and annoyances shine through. The book acts as a collection of images from the past twenty years. As well as pictures, the book emphasizes personal writings from Laub that explain the background of each image.
At first glance, it might appear that this book makes a political statement by often featuring political paraphernalia, but it’s less about politics and more about family structure, generational divides, and the resiliency of family. With material so poignant and layouts so crisp, you’ll find yourself deeply engrossed in this book.