Louise Benson from POST Magazine has curated a selection of books from her bookshelf for us! Since we first wrote about POST in 2011, the digital magazine dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge creativity has spectacularly grown, and has become a very intriguing and forward-thinking online platform. The site explores the blurring boundaries between art, fashion, science and technology, and in the past they have published iPad editions of their magazines. For an afternoon, Associate Editor Louise pulled herself out of the digital realm and spent some time with her physical bookshelf. On to Louise for her list of all time favourites.
Vilgot Sjoman: I Am Curious (Yellow)
This has it all, really. A pair of young Swedish lovers, protests and politics, nude yoga, and a cameo from Martin Luther King. Released in 1967, it was initially censored in parts of America, but overall brought in a new acceptance of sex and nudity on screen in films not restricted to pornographic cinemas. I found an old VHS copy of the film knocking around in the grubby and wonderful Notting Hill Exchange film shop when I was about 16. It really shaped my fondness for non-linear ways of filmmaking, where the story itself is less important than the ways of telling it. A couple of years later, I found this accompanying book and knew that I had to buy it.
Frank Andre Jamme: Tantra Song
Tantric practitioners anonymously produced these paintings on used paper as a form of meditation in Rajasthan, India. They would then discard them, never laying claim to them as artists. It was all about the freely spiritual process, which is maybe what makes the collected results so strikingly beautiful. Their bleeding edges, block colours and simple shapes seem strangely prescient of spare modernist compositions. Beautifully restrained.
Bruce Angrave: Tripli-Cat
Endless cat-themed puns and monochrome illustrations, anyone? To be honest, the puns are terrible and the drawings are repetitive, but good on Bruce Angrave for picking a theme and running with it. He’s pretty much run a marathon with it, and I’d definitely say that he won that race. His warped, feline-filled world never fails to make me laugh.
Tina Barney: Players
New Yorker Tina Barney’s photographs of her wealthy family and friends are kind of surreal, while at the same time managing to pick up very ordinary details. In her portraits, stuffy sofas and badly fitting shoes are captured in vivid, beautiful colours. She seems to catch the feeling of slightly awkward family gatherings, or those brief odd moments of self-reflection you sometimes get in the middle of a crowded party. Her mix of fashion and fiction, drama and documentary, really push my ideas of what style can be, and show how photography can be both posed and naturally relaxed.
Patrick Procktor: Patrick Procktor
Dreamily distorted watercolours, lazy afternoon portraits, delicately painted still lifes of nothing much… these sum up Patrick Procktor’s work for me. His friends and contemporaries included David Hockney, Derek Jarman and Francis Bacon, and collectively they were frequently in the spotlight as the up-and-coming creative generation of the 1960s. It’s quite strange now to look back, as he was also my step-grandfather, and came to live and work at our house for a time while I was growing up. Just imagine if the close friends of your twenties ended up reaching the heights of Hockney, while your own work falls slightly under the radar. I love the indistinct, evocative quality of his watercolours though, with a few simple brush strokes conjuring each scene.