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    Bookshelf: Fascinating collection of enviable books from excellent illustrator Jiro Bevis

Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Fascinating collection of books from excellent illustrator Jiro Bevis

Posted by Liv Siddall,

If you check out Jiro’s London flat on this recent edition of The Selby, you’ll see kitsch objects, weird art, ethnic rugs and enviable clutter EVERYwhere. One look at this floor-to-ceiling mass of artistic and hilarious memorabilia was enough that we presumed a very meaty bookshelf. We weren’t wrong. Jiro’s selection is full of rare and exciting tomes that he’s picked up throughout his life. Aside from the way he’s photographed his books – which could be one of the best examples ever, perhaps save Jaimie Warren – what we love about Jiro’s selection is his insightful description for each one.

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    The Viper’s Fang by Fergus Purcell AKA Fergadelic

The Viper’s Fang by Fergus Purcell AKA Fergadelic

The Viper’s Fang is a small book/zine by iconic London artist Fergadelic, which was published in 2002 by Perks & Mini. This book is especially important to me because, more than any other, it opened my eyes and made me realise that I didn’t need to listen to my teacher’s advice in college and could draw whatever I liked. Studying Graphic Design at St. Martins, there was definitely an emphasis on traditional design, especially typography, which I took on board but there seemed to be far too many rules that I was constantly being told I wasn’t following. When I came across this battered display copy in Magma walking home from college one day everything seemed to make sense; there was someone who was drawing stuff I loved and seemingly making a career out of it. It was incredibly liberating seeing someone referencing Parliament records, Akira comics, old 60s/70s patches and also, importantly, not taking themselves too seriously. My copy that I bought back in 2002 has pretty much completely fallen apart but, thankfully, Fergus recently sent me a pristine copy that I’m very grateful for. Cheers, Fergus!

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    The Secret Museum of Mankind by ???

The Secret Museum of Mankind by ???

I first discovered this book online a while back and managed to get a copy on eBay. The book is an incredible collection of photos of tribes and cultures from all over the world (from around the early 20th century). Although fascinating to look at, the book very much feels like it was made to be more of a curious, voyeuristic, freak-show book for people in the West to look at and enjoy rather than some kind of educational, National Geographic-esque piece. Even so, it’s still a very interesting book with tonnes of cool imagery.

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    Nanoo by Yamantaka Eye

Nanoo by Yamantaka Eye

One of my favourite artists, Yamantaka Eye (who is probably more well known as the leader of legendary Japanese band The Boredoms), is one of the finest artists around, with a special knack for creating some of the most amazing, full-on, spazzed-out photo collage pieces. A massive influence on contemporary artists such as Bjorn Copeland (Gore is a very similar book), Misha Hollenbach, Peter Sutherland and Hisham Bharoocha, what makes Eye’s work so interesting for me, like so many of my favourite artists, is the complete freedom and energy his work creates. I’ve been after this book for sooooo long but finally managed to get a copy a few months back. So good.

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    Raymond Pettibon: The Books 1978-98 by Roberto Ohrt

Raymond Pettibon: The Books 1978-98 by Roberto Ohrt

One of the illustrators I became fascinated with while at college was Raymond Pettibon. I guess like a lot of the artists I like, his connection to music is a big reason for me being a fan. Pettibon got his break through his older brother, Greg Gin, who was the founding member of Black Flag and record label SST and got Pettibon to create the flyers, album artwork and zines for the band and label, which went on to become the iconic visual identity for so much of the Punk/Hardcore scene that was coming from California at the time. This book is epic – it compiles EVERY zine Pettibon made from ’78 to ’98 with easily over a thousand pages of Punk visual gold. I managed to find a copy of this book on eBay; some art dealer living in west London was selling it but rather than sending it in the post she wanted to see in person who was buying it so came all the way over to my house to personally deliver the book. She was some crazy old punk lady dressed head to toe in BOY and chatted to me for about two hours about punk music and art. She then went to the toilet and puked and passed out, which was pretty weird.

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    Fiorucci The Book by Eve Babitz

Fiorucci The Book by Eve Babitz

For the past few years I’ve gotten heavily into 1970s and 1980s Italian design and fashion – I think partly because there is some element of nostalgia, growing up seeing all this crazy glamorous stuff in movies, but mainly because it’s so fucking good. This book (along with Barbara Radice’s Memphis) has always been on the top of my 1980s Italian design want-list but the copies I kept seeing were going for stupid money. Then one day a friend emailed me out of the blue with a link to Amazon Germany and BINGO! Some i̶d̶i̶o̶t̶ amazing person was selling a copy for €10, which has easily been one of the best €10 I’ve ever spent. The book is filled with beautiful naked 1980s Italian ladies, references to 1950s rock’n’roll, robots and generally just awesome artwork. Everything in the book is so ludicrously camp, sexy, colourful and fun that it’s impossible not to like.

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    Avant Garde #8: Picasso’s Erotic Gravures

Avant Garde #8: Picasso’s Erotic Gravures

Growing up where I did, in Bournemouth, there wasn’t a great deal of culture to take in. One of the highlights was getting hold of copies of The Beastie Boys’ brilliant Grand Royal magazine, which, more than anything else I saw growing up, informed me about so much music, film and art counter-culture from the 1960s onwards. Along with the legendary ‘Mulling Over the Mullet’ article, one of the pieces I remember most of all was Geoff McFetridge’s excellent article on Herb Lubalin’s Avant Garde magazine from the 60s and 70s. Over the past few years I’ve slowly tried to collect these beautiful pieces of design, with my favourite being Issue 8, which is an issue entirely devoted to erotic engravings from Picasso. Being an illustrator, it’s always fascinating to see ‘real’ artists working in line drawings rather than painting and seeing how ridiculously good they are. I recently visited Dalí’s museum in Catalunya, which had a whole corridor dedicated to his stunning line drawings, which you hardly ever see for some reason.

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    The Art of Mœbius by Byron Press

The Art of Mœbius by Byron Press

In the grand scheme of things, I’m not particularity good at drawing. I was probably the best in my year at school (especially drawing Garfield and Dragon Ball) but after that, nothing special. This assessment gets reaffirmed every time I look at the work of French comic book artist Jean Giraud, AKA Mœbius. Every single element of Mœbius’ work blows my mind – his line, the composition, the detail, the facial expressions, the energy, the delicateness, the style, everything blows my fucking tiny, useless mind into pieces. For some silly reason, there isn’t anything around that compiles his work in a single book – the closest and best is this one which was published 24 years ago and is completely out of print and, sadly, now goes for stupid money online. Mœbius passed away last year; hopefully in the near future a new book compiling his work, including everything from the past 24 years too, will be made. The man was an absolute genius.

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    Jiro’s Bookshelf

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    Jiro’s Bookshelf

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Bookshelf View Archive

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    Having founded London-based design studio Build in 2001, creative director Michael C. Place has amassed his fair share of books in his time, with a healthy combination of design knowledge to be found tucked between the spines on the studios (admirably well-organised) shelf. We’ve been championing Build’s work on the site for some time now, so what better way to get an insight into the inspirations behind their snazzy work than by hearing from the creative director himself about his favourite reading material? Between Letraset catalogues, reflections on legend Wim Crouwel and Michael’s mate Blam (who has excellent taste in books) we were not disappointed.

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    “In February 2013, 18 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer.” That’s the opening statement on the website of graphic novelist Matilda Tristram, who channeled this painful chapter of her life into a bestselling comic entitled Probably Nothing. We interviewed Matilda a while back on the site and were so intrigued by her story, we had to know more. In this revealing, insightful Bookshelf, Matilda shows us the fantastic books that have inspired her to be one of the most important and engaging graphic novelists working today. Here she is…

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    Yay! Hato Press! We love them. A lot. Neighbours of ours, Hato have spent the last five years collaborating with some of the coolest young creatives and oldest institutions to create impeccably beautiful printed matter and design solutions. A number of the publications these guys have produced are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding/smelling, and it seems that every single thing they do or work on is covered in a glimmering magic dust that is exclusive to only them. Before you go and wet your pants over their multi-disciplinary work on their very nice websites (here and here) check out the books that have inspired them over the years below. Enjoy!

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    Satirical artist and very funny woman Miriam Elia is something of a pro when it comes to books; last year she self-published We Go to the Gallery, a satirical reinterpretation of a 1960s Ladybird book which seeks to help parents explain sex, death and contemporary art to their young ones, complete with a handy glossary of new words to learn. She’s since co-curated an exhibition about Pastiche, Parody and Piracy at London’s Cob Gallery, while other past works include I Fell in Love With a Conceptual Artist… and It Was TOTALLY MEANINGLESS about her relationship with Martin Creed. Hilarious? Yes. Yes it is. Miriam’s Bookshelf includes lovingly weathered books about typography, photography, flesh-eating plants and Butlins holiday camps, giving a neat insight into her brain.

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    John Tebbs is an English gardener who, frustrated by the fact that “many of his working days are held hostage to the weather” founded The Garden Edit in the winter of 2013. His idea was to spend his downtime as productively as possible, creating an online store of beautiful objects which he sourced and sold himself. The resulting curated collection reflects John’s faultless aesthetic, selling “minimal, well-designed products from craftspeople, artists, publishing houses and family-run businesses” alongside a Journal which features short articles by some of his favourite figures about their own horticultural escapades, from rooftop gardens to illustrations of plants.

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    Want to know a surprising secret about self-proclaimed “book obsessive” and Dazed & Confused editor Isabella Burley? She can’t stand big coffee-table-sized fashion books. “I’ve always taken my references from art, pop culture, photography and sex zines rather than fashion,” she told us. “That’s really come to shape the way I approach our fashion content within Dazed.”

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    With 25 years experience in magazine design, not to mention eight years of covering the extensive subject under the title magCulture, it’s a wonder we haven’t already metaphorically burst into Jeremy Leslie’s house and insisted he share his five favourite examples of printed matter right then and there. Instead, we caught him in the build up to The Modern Magazine 2014, the conference which takes place annually in the midst of London Design Festival to shine a torch on the current state of editorial creativity, as well as new directions for the industry.

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    Danielle Pender is the brain at the helm of Riposte magazine, one of the most exciting new publications created to champion the women doing exciting work in the creative industries today, as well as working at KK Outlet, the London outpost of communications agency KesselsKramer, so can you blame us for wanting to have a poke about her bookshelf? Her selection gives a generous insight into the process behind putting together a magazine, from the issue of National Geographic which led her and Riposte’s creative director Shaz Madani to consider a text-based front cover for the magazine (“I’m really happy we had the balls to go with it”) and the all-time hero she dreams of interviewing, with a few other gems thrown in for good measure. She technically stretched her five books to seven, but we let her off because they’re all so damn interesting.

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    I always had a hunch that Bruno Bayley was the kind of guy with a great bookshelf – you can just tell that he’s a hoarder of the weird, the kind of person who would rather stumble upon someone’s diary in a forest than, say, a suitcase full of cash. London-based Bruno is the European managing editor of Vice, which allows him to take his curiosity for the dark corners of the world and pump them out to those who want to know but perhaps can’t be bothered to look. His articles are some of the best on Vice at the moment, so go and check them out after you’ve read his deeply interesting, peculiar top five books. Excuse us while we go and subscribe to the Fortean Times

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    London-based photographer Catherine Losing is exactly our cup of tea; working with the crème de la crème of collaborators from set designers to food stylists, she takes photographs which are colourful, dynamic, bold and immediately recognisable. Unsurprisingly then, her bookshelf is among the very best-stocked of them all, complete with Martin Creed, Barbara Hepworth and Toilet Paper magazine, and most importantly they’re all seriously well-thumbed and chockablock with Post-its.

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    When you ask a couple of creatives who work in a former kindergarten in east Berlin (as we learned in an interview many moons ago) to show you their book collection, you hope to see some pretty cool and quirky publications. Doris and Daniel of Golden Cosmos have not let us down.

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    Design and animation are maybe a bit overlooked when it comes to selecting people whose bookshelves we’d like to share with you. With that in mind this week’s collection comes from the very lovely folks at interactive design and animation studio Animade. They recently incorporated Hover Studio into their midst too, making them collectively one of our favourite groups of creative brains in a five mile radius. Their bookshelf has a serious digital and animation lean, so budding animators and interactive designers, gather round to find out the tomes that’ll yield the secrets of your trade.

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    When we received a copy of illustrated sine Steak Night through the door a couple of weeks ago (check it out in Things here) we were pleasantly surprised to find that Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke is not only a musician, but a keen writer too. Intrigued, we hunted him down and grilled him about his Bookshelf, which turns out to be an incredibly well-stocked selection of graphic novels and comic books, with a little photography thrown in too. He’s multi-talented and he’s got great taste! Here’s Kele telling us about his choices.