Slow → articles tagged with books

Sergei Sviatchenko: Collages

At the end of October SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR published the first monograph to focus exclusively on the prolific collage output of our friend Sergei Sviatchenko. Edited by Rick Poynor, whose essay provides an engaging critical overview, it gathers Sviatchenko’s most significant work from the past 10 years and shows little seen collages from his early years in Ukraine before he moved in 1990 to live and work in Denmark. The severe reductiveness of Sviatchenko’s image manipulation sets his collages apart. Works from his long-running 'Less' series consist of only two or three elements floating on a jarringly bright background. The fewer fragments he allows himself to work with, the more crucial the acts of selection, excision and montage become. Depthless backdrops deny his collage constructions a sense of location and push them forward as graphically sculptural objects. The swift cuts that Sviatchenko makes into his source pictures give them angular new outlines that can verge on abstraction. The elegantly designed monograph is illustrated with 165 images, selected to bring out salient themes in Sviatchenko’s continuing development, which has made him one of our favorite collage artists since we discovered his work. [ Continue reading ]

Anna et Salomé

We really like the latest publication from Edinburgh-based publisher Lawson's Books. The book named 'Anna et Salomé' holds the thrilling photographs by the very talented Barcelona-based photographer Adrià Cañameras. Born to a French father and a Spanish mother, Adrià initially learned the craft assisting fellow photographer Misha Kominek, after which his own work took off, working both for magazines as for some interesting names in music. The central point of focus of 'Anna et Salomé' is the Mediterranean. Developed from a personal project which allowed Cañameras to truly reflect on the environment he grew up around, the images were captured in various locations along the Costa Brava in Spain and on the French island of Corsica. Shot between June 2012 and March 2013 these beautiful and striking photographs function on both an abstract and geological level, and can be viewed as part survey, part celebration and part meditation. We love Cañameras' exquisite eye for details, both when it comes to the forms as the incredible colors served by beautiful Mother Nature, masterfully captured in his frames.  [ Continue reading ]


In 'L'amateur' Murielle Victorine Scherre, the visionary force behind lingerie brand La Fille d'O, illustrates a world that balances sexual self respect and an object of lust, naughtiness, fantasy and reality: her personal Wunderkammer of the senses. She captures an erotic world, where mind and body each find their own way. The book provokes questions about the contemporary beauty ideals and the universal appeal of the human body and of eroticism. The result is a visionary scrapbook in search of the true meaning of 9 hollow words like beauty, attraction, eroticism and pornography. Words which have been over-used in our modern day hyper-visual commercial world and Murielle finds herself confronted with in her everyday creative process and therefore wanted to visualize into her personal discourse. She draws from the immense image archive of La Fille d'O, which was built over the course of the last 11 years combined with contributions by like-minded amateurs (meaning enthusiast in French, not incompetent) like Jesse Draxler (USA), photobooth meister Marco Ferrari (IT / UK), Richard Kern (USA), S magazine (DK / USA) and Rita Lino (DUI). 'L'amateur' is like a very intimate diary; diligently and obsessive as life itself. In girum imus nocte et igni consumimur. [ Continue reading ]

I Think Things Are Getting Better

Over the last few years Instagram has risen to become the most revealing creative social medium which gives insight into the lives of people all over the globe. With technology now truly supporting the creative needs one can slowly observe something like a canon within photography disclosed within the unique preconditions of the now mature medium. A very interesting project out of this new emerging field is the series 'I Think Things Are Getting Better' by the New York City-based Amardeep Singh, which has been translated back into a more traditional form, a book, by Chris Black's Done to Death Projects, also responsible for our friend Mikael Kennedy's last publication 'California'. The new outing by Done to Death Projects documents a year and a half of the life of Singh caught in 97 digital photos, taken with his phone and initially shared on his Instagram account, with the final photo dating back to only 5 October 2014. The photographer has a tremendous eye for detail both when it comes to shape and color, which in the publication is underlined on every page through the juxtapositioning of the images forming an incredible example of what soon very likely will be seen as an important new genre within photography. [ Continue reading ]

Homunculi by Stefan Zsaitsis

We have written about the very gifted Austrian artist and illustrator Stefan Zsaitsis, when we discovered his fascinating work earlier, in October of this year. Zsaitsis has an extraordinary signature running through all his work. He creates highly fascinating dark pencil drawings of childlike figures in which he oftenly seems to hybridize particular thoughts and emotions directly on or with the body part which is involved, mostly the head. One can always observe that sense of astonishment combined with a touch of fear, with the results surrealistic and sometimes even slightly repulsive raw images, which evoke a sense of unsettlement. Last week the very talented artist presented his second publication with work stretching all the way back to 2012 until this year. The artist published the beautiful book himself, like the predecessor 'Headsongs', with his second publication given the name 'Homunculi'. The hardcover specimen consists of 180 pages with 82 images, basically forming an elaborate catalogue of almost all drawings Zsaitsis created in the past three years.  [ Continue reading ]

The Complete Lexicon of Crisis Related Suicides

The Complete Lexicon of Crisis Related Suicides - 2008-2013/Volume 1' is a very impressive and confrontational history book on the painful impact of the economic crisis that overwhelmed the world since 2008, published by the small Dutch publishing house Uitgeverij Komma earlier this month. The book sketches an image of the current economical period and its specific victims through the eyes of graphic designer Richard Sluijs, who at the start of the crisis was a relative outsider in a country that seemed to be off the hook; The Netherlands. Sluijs, who’s been working as a graphic designer in The Hague from his studio Richlab for the last 14 years, depicts the personal suffering in a monumental, somewhat dark, but above all elegant way. The result is an unique collection of stories from people who could no longer endure their misery, and saw suicide as their only way out, given one last voice before they fade for good. [ Continue reading ]

Mid-Century Modern Complete

'Mid-Century Modern Complete' by Dominic Bradbury, published through Thames & Hudson can be seen as the definitive survey of one of the most popular, collectable and dynamic periods of international design. With over a 1000 illustrations, it is a must-have for any design aficionado, collector or reader seeking inspiration for their home. It offers a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the subject: furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, textiles, product design, industrial design, graphics and posters, as well as architecture and interior design, use of innovative and affordable materials and forms of mass manufacture, and newly developed precepts of ‘good design’. Nearly 100 major and influential creators of the mid-century period are highlighted from Scandinavia, Western Europe, America, Japan, Brazil and Australia. They include icons such as Saul Bass, Robin Day, Charles and Ray Eames, Marimekko, Isamu Noguchi, Dieter Rams, Lucie Rie and Paolo Venini, as well as architects Alvar Aalto, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra and Oscar Niemeyer. Very inspirational! [ Continue reading ]

Holland’s Finest

We are very grateful for everyone who had a share within the very first Our Current Obsession as without them we couldn't have realized it. Having introduced the main collaborator GERTRUD & GEORGE, some of the artists involved (with more to come), and ,The World of Black' in our space has been extended long and wide onto the online Our Current Obsessions environment, now it is time to give a proper insight into the other partners with which we’ve created the core of the extraordinary black selection of products for sale in our space on the Schippersgracht in Amsterdam. As these stores offer only the finest in their particular specialty we’ve named them Holland’s Finest, to which we owe a sincere debt of gratitude and feel honored to have collaborated with. [ Continue reading ]

Flower Contemporary

Flowers are associated with all the major events in life, whether celebratory or commemorative, but they also color our everyday existence and enliven the spaces around us. The extraordinary 'Floral Contemporary: The Renaissance of Flower Design' by the very inspirational curator Olivier Dupon and published by Thames & Hudson, gives an amazing overview and wide array of options how to implement flowers within all those occasions. Through the work of 38 floral designers, flowers for every occasion are presented in an utmost elegant manner; whether public decorations for weddings, arrangements for banquets, installations for shops and hotels, accessories for fashion shows, exhibits for art shows or private, in the form of simple but special displays for the home: which resulted in one of the most beautifully curated and designed books on the beauty of flowers we have seen. [ Continue reading ]

Post Natural History

We wrote about the stunning 'Post Natural History' project by French photographer Vincent Fournier last year when it was on display at the Amsterdam-based Ravenstein Gallery and we still find it one of the most interesting series we've seen in a long time. While the images themselves will leave you speechless regardless, Fournier in collaboration with Paris and New York-based creative Studio be-poles also created an amazing limited box set form which does 'Post Natural History' justice perfectly. We mentioned this collaboration in our last writing, but last month it returned on our rader as 20 of the 50 sets with signed and numbered color prints on fuji crystal archivemounted onto embossed board editions were (and are, at the time of writing only 1 edition was still available) for sale at the inspirational Los Angeles-based gallery/boutique Please Do Not Enter, which was kind enough to provide the imagery of this highly inspirational and elegant new form of the incredible series. [ Continue reading ]

Faculty Department

'Faculty Department' is a beautiful personal photography project and visual journey by the talented Justin Chung, focussing on the lives, spaces and stories of talented and noteworthy individuals worldwide. Chung’s interest in photographing creative people came alive when he moved to New York City to pursue a career in commercial fashion photography and portraiture in 2011. Chung found that while he was inspired by the work these creatives were producing, what he felt most connected to was their process: how the smallest intricacies in their daily lives contributed to making them the most effective, most happy, and most real. It is these intimate details Chung hopes to capture in the pages of 'Faculty Department'. [ Continue reading ]

Araki Teller, Teller Araki

At the initiative of the OstLicht Gallery and Peter Coeln in Vienna, 'Araki Teller, Teller Araki' which took place from the 4th of April until the 25th of May of this year, brought together two of the most important photographers of our times, showing new works conceived for this joint exhibition and entering into an artistic dialogue. The exhibition presented the encounter between two attitudes of extraordinary photographers, who are united in their radical artistic attitude and their almost insatiable hunger for images as reflections of their personal experience of the world. The elementary interest at the core of their work is the spiritual and physical ambivalence of human existence. To coincide with the exhibition Antenna Books in a collaboration with Araki's own eyesencia released Nobuyoshi Araki's and Juergen Teller's first jointly conceived and designed book. The publication assembles more than 300 photographs, including those works shown as part of the exhibition which were previously unpublished. In addition, Araki and Teller have each dedicated a text to the other. [ Continue reading ]

Tokyo Diaries

The latest by inspirational Lisbon-based publisher Pierre von Kleist editions brings us back to Japan. After releasing the beautiful 'Japan Drug' by António Júlio Duarte in May now follows another tremendous grainy black and white photographic book by the name of 'Tokyo Diaries'. In 2009 André Príncipe, the co-founder of Pierre von Kleist editions, and filmmaker Marco Martins travelled to Tokyo to shoot a film about elliptical narratives and the importance of the diaristic practice in Japanese photography. During one month and in a totally improvised way, the filmmakers shot hours of 16mm footage and thousands of photographs of their daily life as well as their encounters with photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira, Hiromix, Kohei Yushiyuki and Kajii Syoin. The film which was the result of this trip: 'Traces of a Diary' was subsequently shown in film festivals around the world and received the jury prize at Documenta Madrid. And now the amazing book which was created out of the 100 rolls of Tri-X 400 film which remained unused  brings the essence of the beautiful trip back to printed still images. We love the character which the images transcend, capturing a dynamic energy within a highly inspirational generation of Japanese photographers perfectly. [ Continue reading ]

Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road

Philippe Brunel’s painstakingly assembled anthology of tales and photography named 'Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road' quickly became a touchstone for fans of road racing, capturing the ethos and aesthetic of decades of the sport. It is a book born of days in the archives and from countless hours of interviews, making it an indispensible companion for anyone drawn in by the golden age of professional cycling. After spending many years out of print, 'Kings of Pain: Masters and Convicts of the Road' now has been republished by Rapha, featuring re-scanned, duotone photography on Fedrigoni paperstock, bound in high-quality Buckram. All the original Kings  of Pain are captured by Brunel like you rarely see them, the book consistsing of some of the peloton’s most compelling stories and images. Be they brave, fragile, or a touch crazy, this book celebrates the riders as human beings making it a perfect celebration of the sport. [ Continue reading ]

The Age of Collage

We are still inspired by the book named 'The Age of Collage' which was published by Gestalten a year ago. The book is a striking documentation of today’s continued appetite for destructive construction found in the art of collage. Showcasing outstanding current artwork and artists, the book also takes an insightful behind-the-scenes look at those working with this interdisciplinary and cross-media approach. The collages featured in this book are influenced by illustration, painting, and photography and play with elements of abstraction, constructivism, surrealism, and dada. Referencing scientific images, pop culture, and erotica, they reflect humanity’s collective visual memory and context. Among the featured artists are the highly talented Ashkan Honarvar and our friend, multitalent Sergei Sviatchenko. [ Continue reading ]

The Monocle Guide to Good Business

We've been fans of Tyler Brûlé's Monocle and everything they put out since its foundation in 2007. The next highly promising product, which will be released next month and published by another inspirational company, Gestalten, is 'The Monocle Guide to Good Business'; a book for would-be business leaders, start-ups, and established companies that feel it’s time for some new ideas. A book made to be used, like writing in its margins and leaving dog-ears in your favorite pages. No management speak or self-help miracles for untold riches. Rather, this is a guide championing doing things well: from how you run the show to minor details like which pens to buy. The 300-page book features great photography and illustrations. It's a handbook for those who want to make a company that will last; the ultimate reference for doing a job you love, by the people who are doing one hell of a job for quite some time now. [ Continue reading ]

Strange Plants

We really like the first publication by Independent publishing house Zioxla named 'Strange Plants'. The book is a celebration of plants in contemporary art featuring the work of 25 artists: from oozing paintings of rotting cacti to eerie, mesmeric photos of the leafy kudzu vine, and discusses the role plants play in the artists’ personal lives. For the book, editor Zio Baritaux brought together eight artists whose work focuses on the natural world: Erik Parker, Helene Schmitz, Paul Wackers, Lee Kwang-Ho, Taylor McKimens, David Axelbank, Stephen Eichhorn and Aiyana Udesen. In-depth interviews and articles are presented alongside images that showcase the instinctive and unique ways plants are represented in the artists’ works. [ Continue reading ]

Amsterdam! by Ed van der Elsken

Since the 6th of June the beautiful exhibition 'Amsterdam! Ed van der Elsken, oude foto’s 1947-1970' is running in Het Stadsarchief Amsterdam, the museum attached to the Municipal Archive of Amsterdam. The exhibition coincides with the reprint of the book of the beautiful series which originally was published in 1979. At that time it was a powerful collaboration between the great and famous photographer and the just as great graphic designer Anthon Beeke, making it rather a classic made out of Dutch excellence, which over the last decades had been out of print and sought after. At the time of the original release, the two greats created a new kind of visual communication, which gained them a lot of praise, showing the city of Amsterdam in the course of those decades in all its diversity to a worldwide audience. [ Continue reading ]

Rowing Blazers

The blazer is a staple of modern menswear, but few realize that this garment has its origins in the sporting kit of the Oxford and Cambridge rowing teams. The amazing, just published, 'Rowing Blazers' by Thames and Hudson explores these authentic striped, piped, trimmed, and badged blazers that are still worn by oarsmen and -women around the world today, and at the elaborate rituals, elite athletes, prestigious clubs, and legendary races associated with them. Each University, school, college and club featured in the book is represented by their own group of rowers, including world champions, record holders and Olympians. The insightful portraits, set in historic international boathouses and club rooms, are accompanied by captivating anecdotes and descriptions of the esoteric traditions behind each blazer. [ Continue reading ]

Why I Love Tattoos

Since the 80's Dutch photographer Ralf Mitsch has been fascinated by what lays behind the people who are heavily tattooed. What motivated them, what role do the tattoos play in their particular life or even their vision on the world? With his on-going series 'Why I Love Tattoos' the photographer has been asking these questions through his lens for many years, and last month the project resulted in the first printed publication. The book, which was released in May and will have its official launch on the 15th of June in the Amsterdam-based NAME Gallery, the spectator is offered a selection of subjects which Mitsch has had before his lens, to find out about the stories behind that Maori tribal design, traditional Japanese body tattoo or a collection of smaller tattoos totally filling one's arm or leg. The book contains more than 50 beautiful, full-page portraits of people from all over the globe who have visited the photographer's studio through the years. Each photographed tells a personal story of the hidden truth behind their tattoos, plus features a short interview by (heavily tattooed) author and journalist Henk van Straten, who's also one of the subjects featured in the book. [ Continue reading ]

Paradigm Volume I — Genesis

'Paradigm Volume I — Genesis' is the first publication by the highly inspiring online platform Paradigm Magazine. The book is a tribute to all the people who have inspired Theo Constantinou on his journey with Paradigm thus far. The anthology is a vivid expression of dreams, feelings, thoughts, and ideas conveyed from visionaries across the world, with each contribution to this volume offering aninterpretation of the book’s central theme, Genesis: an origin or beginning. The stories and visions shared seek to infiltrate a deep-rooted connection within each individual’s journey and to illustrate the unified wonder of the human experience. This timeless keepsake has been tactfully crafted from cover-to-cover in order to fulfill its unique conceptualization. Only by an unyielding level of devotion without any commercial backing, along with the help of remarkable friends, was the dream of conceiving this book realized. The list of contributors is both long and impressive, with amazing names like scholar Noam Chomsky, artist Erik Brunetti, photographer Glen E. Friedman, tattoo artist Maxime Buchi and regular collaborator Mikael Kennedy, among many other names. [ Continue reading ]

Japan Drug

We really like the latest by the Lisbon-based publisher Pierre von Kleist editions. The book named 'Japan Drug' by António Júlio Duarte features moody, grainy black and white photographs portraying urban Japan in a very anonymous and isolated fashion. The images were taken 17 years ago when the Portuguese photographer visited Japan all by himself. It was a time, with the insecurities evoked by the new millennium ahead becoming apparent, but above all a period in time in which both economical and technological perspectives seemed endless. Looking back a lot has changed over the years that have past, with sentiments all over the globe becoming more and more sombre. A sombreness which already speaks through the imagery of António Júlio Duarte as if the photographer then already felt that times wouldn't stay the same, and therefore the right time to share his images was right now. [ Continue reading ]

99 x 99s

Luke Stephenson just started a Kickstarter campaign to publish his latest beautiful series in a collaboration with YES, who also designed 'An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds'. Named '99 x 99s', the series is a photographic project which documents the story of the 99 ice cream through a photographic road trip around the UK. In the summer of 2013, over 25 days and 3,500 miles, Stephenson travelled around the coastline of Great Britain. Going from place to place the photographer was fascinated by the human touches that make each 99 ice cream unique. In the series the seaside ice cream vans and parlours that sold the 99s are also portrayed and the myths which surround this very British icon are discussed, giving the project a significant anthropological dimension, next to Stephenson's excellent eye for finding beautiful aesthetics in unexpected places. [ Continue reading ]

The Outsiders

'The Outsiders: New Outdoor Creativity' is the latest inspirational publication by German publishing house Gestalten. Created out of the fact that more and more people are turning to the great outdoors when seeking peace and balance, whether hiking through the mountains or simply spending a night in a tent far away from civilization. The Outsiders showcases the outlook and passions of the new creative scene that has emerged and draws inspiration from this development along with its original products, brands, and ideas. The products and projects presented in this book are better, both in concept and design, making them more radical and complete than its predecessors. Combining handicraft with the latest technology, they incorporate illustrations, photography, and graphic art as well as trends in product design and fashion. Here, the fundamental challenges posed by the wilderness meet the aesthetic needs of the design-literate urbanite in ways that are atmospheric and likeable, with the occasional romantic or ironic wink. [ Continue reading ]