• Final_books

    Bookshelf: Paul Burgess

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Paul Burgess

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Here we have the Bookshelf of Paul Burgess who, in his sweeping career, knocks over writer, photographer, illustrator and artist as he goes by (and by). His selections are a dedicated mix of informed works surrounding his own practice, citations for a personal manifesto and an image-heavy celebration of that most significant of tools, found imagery. Drawing on all aforementioned creative accomplishments, it’s a reading list that also reflects his present station as an educator and a voice of the illustrating community.

The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival Dash Snow

First off, we have the Jim Morrison of collage, Dash Snow. Dead aged 27 from a drug overdose, Dash was an American photographer, artist and lager than life collage genius.

I discovered this book, Dash Snow: The End of Living – The Beginning of Survival published by Contemporary Fine Arts (CFA Gallery) Berlin 2007, in a Berlin bookshop. I immediately fell in love with the raw, punk attitude. Each collage and many of his Polaroids in particular, allow you a glimpse of urban American youth culture. Politics, nihilism, and détournement all feature heavily in the work here.

The collages depict scenes of sex, drug taking, violence and art-world pretense with candor. Some of Snow’s later collage-based work was characterised by his practice of using his own semen as a material applied to or splashed across newspaper photographs of police officers and Saddam Hussein’s face. His use of newspaper headlines, found ephemera and bodily fluids all come together to form the ‘hardest’ collage work since John Heartfield.
www.amazon.co.uk/end-of-living…

Found Photos Dick Jewell

One of my all time favourites. In 1978, the young British artist Dick Jewell self-published a small book Found Photos, a collection of photo booth images that had been mutilated, thrown away or torn up by the people featured in the photographs. Most of the images in this small, but perfectly formed book, had been left to rot on the top (or behind) photo booth machines from 1968 to the mid 1970’s. You get to see lovers kissing, dazed expressions caught in the flash, 1970’s hairstyles galore, old age pensioners and cheeky teenagers all preening for the camera, and then all strangely discarded (maybe in rage or contempt?) and ready for Dick Jewell to find and then publish in this slice of real life Britain. These people are not models, they are you or me.
In a world where all we have now are boring ‘digital photo booths’, this is a potent reminder of how an advance in technology does not necessarily bring aesthetic beauty.
www.dickjewell.com/found-photos…

700 Centenboek Jos Houweling

I found this book on a secondhand book stall in Amsterdam in the 1980’s. It has the is made up of many small black and white photos of similar objects. Page after page of manhole covers, plastic toys, mailboxes, dog turds, window boxes, park benches vending machines, you name it, it’s here.

The 700 CENTENBOEK was published to commemorate the 700th birthday of the city of Amsterdam. It was sold at cost price, 700 cents, or seven guilders, and can be seen as a birthday present for all the inhabitants of Amsterdam from an institution which had an important part to play in the city’s financial life. Published by Gemeentegiro (Municipal Giro) the city’s postal system.

The subject of this book is mainly those humble street adornments that you would usually pass without noticing, but which have altogether more character than the canal houses, tulips and clogs, that Amsterdam is more famous for. The author, Jos Houweling, was not a professional photographer. His approach is simple and direct, he just wanted to record everyday objects as they really are.
www.boekenwebsite.nl/700-centenboek

Bamn: Outlaw Manifestos and Ephemera 1965-70’ Edited by Peter Stansill and David Zane Mairowitz

A paperback almost certainly owned by Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes as they plotted to overthrow tedious rock music in 1975/76. As the first image in this book, from the King Mob Echo, states ‘We are Outlaws, we are the forces of Chaos and Anarchy’.

This anthology contains a wealth of ephemera produced by many of the radical groups of the time, from the Black Panthers, the Yippies, English Situationists and the Women’s Liberation Movement. The major part of the material included here derives from the United States, England and Holland, the major centres of ‘dropped-out’ consciousness. No one political stance is adopted in these pages, but the book is essential for understanding the depth and range of protest and call to action within the counter culture of that decade. Here are many of the essential posters, leaflets and newspapers from the angry 1960’s. We all need a manifesto to live by, now more than ever. By any means necessary . . . .
www.ebay.co.uk/Bamn…

Playing with Matches Beck Hansen and Al Hansen

Playing With Matches is the first book published that collects together Beck and Al Hansen’s mixed media collages, assemblages, drawings and photographs. Dirty bikers, found thrift store photographs, trash and Hershey bar wrappers are all here. If you though Beck Hansen was just a recording artist, then think again. He is a pretty good visual artist also, working with collage since he was a child.

In the late 1980s and early 90s Beck Hansen made several trips to Europe to visit his grandfather, the Fluxus/Happenings artist Al Hansen, who resided in Cologne. Since the early 1970s Beck and Al shared an informal exchange of ideas that was the catalyst for their respective engagements with images, words and sound/performance.

Working with the ordinary detritus of consumer society, and turning the images back on themselves to better evaluate their contrived beauty. Like ‘two turntables and a microphone’, the audio equivalent of his cut-and-paste collages, Beck celebrates the potential of the imperfect, discarded and reclaimed image. Oh to have a grandfather like this . . .
www.alhansen.net
www.amazon.co.uk/playing-matches…

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Karinhagen-itsnicethat-main

    Pottery has had a bit of a bad rep until recently when people have slowly begun to realise that it’s FUCKING BADDASS. The pottery world is creaking under the weight of the amount of thrill-seeking clay-spinners popping up all over the place making vessels for cool people to put their cacti and fennel seeds in, and so we thought we’d highlight a few people who are taking the clay world by storm. Think for a minute, if you will, how few kilns there are on this earth, and how many universities have in recent years completely shut down their ceramics department due to lack of funding and demand. Then get your head around how these guys manage to create such brilliant work at such an astonishing rate while still keeping up their day jobs. Seeing as pottery is well trendy right now, I thought I’d run down a list of my personal favourite pot-heads out there.

  2. Jr-newyorktimes-itsnicethat-list

    It’s always a joy when two creative forces we like collide and produce something that harnesses their collective talents. We’re huge fans of the team at The New York Times Magazine (so much so we interviewed design director Gail Bichler for the new issue of our Printed Pages magazine) and we love the work of JR, so the coming-together of the two was right up our street.

  3. List

    Have you ever wondered what the world might have looked like after the great Old Testament flood? What bizarre events might have followed such a freak occurrence in weather? Me neither. It’s honestly never crossed my mind. But illustrator Samuel Branton has been fixating on the idea, imagining the strange fusion of land and sea that a tumultuous rise in water levels might effect. He’s gone one step further and illustrated these fictional scenarios in miniature, taking this Regency medium and making it weird. Witness crabs beating up a wild boar, monkeys tossing an elephant in the air and a sad old sperm whale incapacitated in a tree. And Deluge is available in book form too!

  4. Aakash-itsnicethat-list

    When we last wrote about Aakash Nihalani we described his practice as a series of interventions, and now that he has graduated from playful street art compositions to full blown technological mind-blowers, that vaguery seems even more apt. His newest piece sees him create a series of interactive installations which respond to the movements of the subject stood in front of them. The video demonstrates it better than I could ever hope to, so wrap your eyes around it and try to keep your jaw off the floor. Aakash is entering a new age, people; just imagine the possibilities!

  5. Ines-longevial-itsnicethat-list

    Inès Longevial is an art director and illustrator based in Paris, whose beautiful paintings of intertwined bodies are likely to have you looking twice. She breaks up the human figure into segments in a fashion Picasso himself would admire, rendering different parts in contrasting but muted colour palettes to disguise the physicality of her subjects. The effect is quite beguiling; hands play across hips and colour distinctions hint at the seams of clothes, but nothing is clear cut. It’s a geometric play on anatomy, and it has clients including fashion brand Amélie Pichard and sportswear giants Nike coming back for more.

  6. Hannahwaldron-itsnicethat-list

    “I wish I knew how to weave,” I found myself sighing longingly while clicking through Hannah Waldron’s portfolio. The UK-based multi-disciplinary artist and designer has transitioned seamlessly from grid-based image-making to create works in textile form since completing an MFA in Textiles at Konstfack, Sweden, and it looks like she’s well at home in the medium. Map Tapestries is a series of woven works inspired by various city scenes – Kreuzberg, NYC and Venice, for example – in bright colours, evocative shapes and simple geometric forms, and it’s wonderful.

  7. Jen-stark-whirl-side-int-10

    If it isn’t broke then there’s absolutely no need to even think about fixing it, as artist Jen Stark is fully aware, and there’s nothing broken about her geometric papercut sculptures. The LA-based artist has been making such work for literally as long as It’s Nice That has been running – here’s the first time we ever posted about her, back in 2007 – and although her work continues to grow in intricacy, she’s stayed true to her roots. These days her sculptures are made more and more often inside huge, unassuming black and white boxes, recreating the feeling that you’re a child about to unbundle a giant parcel of joy on Christmas morning, and they’re still as impressive as they were eight years ago.

  8. Everybody-razzle-dazzle-1-photo-mark-mcnulty-int-list

    Sir Peter Blake has designed this fabulous dazzle ship, a Mersey Ferry that will carry commuter passengers for the next two years. Named Everybody Razzle Dazzle, Sir Peter says it’s his “largest artwork to date,” and that he was “honoured and excited to have been asked to design a dazzle image for the iconic Mersey Ferry.”

  9. Boyocollage-int-list

    Some budding young design talents fresh out of university might harbour resentment about being thrust into a new job at a design studio as a “photocopier boy” (his words), but Patrick Waugh is not one of them. Instead he took full advantage of the rich archive at his disposal in his earliest and most junior jobs to make copies. Lots of them. And then took a scalpel and some masking tape to them, and transformed them into something altogether more exciting.

  10. Stephenabela-int-main

    At first, Stephen Abela’s images are all glorious bronzed bodies, sun-drenched beaches and hazy holiday reveries. But beneath the heat, there’s something else at play too, which feels a little more disquieting. In that oft-cited Edward Hopper thing: even in the densely populated scenes there feels like there’s a loneliness. Even the speech bubbles are lonely – in fact, they’re vacant – suggesting that for all the beautiful scenery, the folk that populate it aren’t quite sure what to say or what to do. There’s a joy there, for sure, but the great thing about Stephen’s work is this complexity, and the sense that all isn’t necessarily as it seems.

  11. Int-list-carsten-holler-pic

    Merging the fun of the playground with the beauty and cerebral qualities of art, a slide will transport visitors to the Hayward Gallery entrance this summer thanks to the forthcoming Carsten Höller show, Decision.

  12. Traceyemin-mybed-int-

    Sometimes I don’t really “get” modern art, but I get Tracey Emin’s My Bed. She displayed it as a piece of art in 1998 after practically living in it for about a month following a bad breakup. Back then she was rake-thin and impish with an appetite for booze and fags, in that odd age where you’re left to fend for yourself but are not perhaps quite ready.

  13. Serenmorganjones-int-list

    With the centenary of British women receiving the partial vote coming up shortly, artist Seren Morgan Jones decided it was time to focus on the Welsh suffragists who helped to make it happen. “I think it is important to show that there is more to Wales and its history than coal mining, rugby and men,” she explains, “and to draw people’s attention to the fact Welsh women were so involved in the fight for women’s rights.”