As an artist, Patti Smith finds beauty even in dismal and mundane places. A BOOK OF DAYS (Bloomsbury, £25), a photographic journal maintained by Smith for a little over a year, reinforces this ability. Even though Smith remains underrated as a visual artist, this volume shows that she can leverage the form to create subtle or implied visual and/or thematic connections.
For instance, the entry on March 18 features a tea cup with the inscription, ‘Mama’ — a gift from her daughter; a small photograph of her mother is in the frame too. This project was inspired by Smith’s Instagram account where she might post a picture of the Hiroshima dome one month and a snapshot of her cat, Cairo, the next — with butterflies, Giacomo Puccini’s piano and ballet shoes in between. The collection is a reminder of the need to appreciate the little moments in the everyday. It is also a form of remembrance — of people and the past — another of Smith’s occupations as an artist.