Mark Mulroney is an artist who collages, paints, sculpts and draws a brilliant and weird cartoon-like world. He is also an avid collector and sketchbook compiler –referencing throughout his work the strange and sexual and mundanely fascinating photo books and illustrated editions from his own shelves. What better person to ask for his five important books for our Bookshelf feature then a guy who has a my library section on his site?
What’s Happening To Me? Peter Mayle
My parents gave me and my brothers this book with the hopes that it would answer all our questions about sex and we would not embarrass them by asking things like: “What is a clitoris?” Unfortunately for us their plan did not work and we just ended up scared and confused.
Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection – 40 Year History Frank Slocum
This book catalogues all the baseball cards the Topps Company produced from 1951 to 1991. It is a fantastic resource for typographers, graphic designers, photographers and baseball fanatics like myself. Although the book is massive, I still manage to look at it in the morning while making enough space on the table for my cereal and coffee.
Buenos Aires Nocturno
I do not know who published this booklet or why, but my wife and I found it at a flea market in Buenos Aires. As far as we can tell, it is a self-published book by a group of swingers and it documents one or more of their orgies. It is poorly printed in black and white and has no text other than the title, the pages are filled with pictures of people with a lot of body hair humping one another.
The Big Book of Soft Toys Mabs Tyler
Mabs Tyler is Mike Kelley before Mike Kelley was Mike Kelley. This book was published in 1972 and was meant as a craft book for bored and possibly poor mothers who wanted to sew their kids a toy rather than buying them something they really wanted. The photography is fantastic as each toy is displayed in a documentary style with a bright single colour background. I see a lot of contemporary photography and still-life paintings that lack the charm of these images and are also about 40 years too late. I expect to see this book in the next edition of Martin Parr’s photo book history.
Exquisite Mayhem Theo Ehret
There are a lot of Taschen books that are poorly constructed but not this one. A fat book with pages of bleeding men and naked woman fighting each other in random living rooms. I hope nude apartment wrestling makes a come back but until it does this book will have to do.