• Leifhero
Bookshelf

The top five books of designer and psychedelic art enthusiast Leif Podhajsky

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Reel off a list of highly-publicised albums recently and chances are that their artwork was designed by creative director and artist, Leif Podhajsky. From Bonobo to Mount Kimbie and Kelis to Tame Impala, Leif’s psychedelic-inspired designs turn these albums from listenable into incredibly desirable in a matter of seconds. Drawing inspiration from the mystic, the kaleidoscopic, the mysterious and the wild, Leif’s site and blog are a treasure trove of beautiful, technicolour work to marvel at. You can almost smell the sandalwood. Here he is on his top five most inspirational tomes, check out that National Geographic collection!

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    Hieronymus Bosch: BOSCH, The Man and His Paintings

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    Hieronymus Bosch: BOSCH, The Man and His Paintings

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    Hieronymus Bosch: BOSCH, The Man and His Paintings

Hieronymus Bosch: BOSCH, The Man and His Paintings

One of my favourite surrealist painters, this book has a large collection of his strange, gothic and symbolic works. Whilst ideas of Christianity are prominent the, almost hallucinogenic, alchemic occultism always makes me feel he was challenging the narrow view of religion and exploring something much deeper. It’s really up for interpretation as not much is known about the man or his works.

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    Irving Penn Regards the Work of Issey Miyake

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    Irving Penn Regards the Work of Issey Miyake

Irving Penn Regards the Work of Issey Miyake

A recent purchase, I love this book’s simplicity – showcasing the work of Issey Miyake’s beautiful use of shape and form. One of the few figures to have taken clothing design into the realm of art.

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    National Geographic

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    National Geographic

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    National Geographic

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    National Geographic

National Geographic

I have a thing for old National Geographic magazines, the faded warm colours and textures, the wealth of different ideas and cultures. Anything from the 60s, 70s and 80s have that nostalgic, lost world feel to them. When my Granddad passed away I inherited his collection, he’d been a member for a large part of his life and we shared a love of the natural world and science.

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    Sprichwörtlichen Redensarten 1888 (Proverbial Sayings)

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    Sprichwörtlichen Redensarten 1888 (Proverbial Sayings)

Sprichwörtlichen Redensarten 1888 (Proverbial Sayings)

I found a vast collection of old books at a family house in the Czech mountains. We were moving a great aunt’s possessions and up in the attic I found this strange bookshelf with some very beautiful books which I pored over for hours admiring the craftsmanship and typography. I felt like I was in that Jonny Depp movie The Ninth Gate. I put them in storage but kept this one as a token, I love the gothic type and marbling on the spine.

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    Edouard Baribeaud: Au Pavillon des Laurier

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    Edouard Baribeaud: Au Pavillon des Laurier

Au Pavillon des Laurier Edouard Baribeaud

I love Edouard Baribeaud’s ink pen drawings, the simple use of colour and strange compositions give these an otherworldly feel. 

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    Bas Jan Ader: Please Don’t Leave Me

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    Bas Jan Ader: Please Don’t Leave Me

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    Bas Jan Ader: Please Don’t Leave Me

Bas Jan Ader: Please Don’t Leave Me

An absolute favourite artist of mine, and this book is a list of his works. Dutch conceptual artist Bas Jan set off in what would have been the smallest sailboat to cross the Atlantic but was never seen again. He left behind a small oeuvre, often using gravity as a medium. A favourite piece for me is _Fall II_ Amsterdam 1970 in which he is filmed riding along a canal and veering into the water, still attached to his bike.

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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.

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