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Regulars / Bookshelf

Taschen editor Julius Wiedemann on the books that inspire him

Julius Wiedemann is the editor of design and pop culture, and director of digital publications at Taschen. He has edited over 50 books in his 13 years at the publishing house and his publications have sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. So with his expertise it seemed only natural that Julius gives us a taster of the tomes that have have stayed with him over the years. From robots to jazz, there’s mix of books that have inspired him and ones Julius has worked on himself giving us a bit of extra insight.

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Edited by Julius Wiedemann: Digital Beauties

Edited by Julius Wiedemann: Digital Beauties

This is the first book I edited for Taschen, and it has become a kind of cult publication. With robots now becoming mainstream again, the book has also resurfaced as one of the best references on the visual side of the field but can be only found on auction sites. The 2D and 3D digitally built women are a testimony to our creativity, and what I believe is our deep interest in subjective experience. We seem to care little about reality. We take it for granted and fiction is many times our favourite field of exploration.

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Fred Hoffman: Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing

Fred Hoffman: Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing

I greatly admire this artist, and the incredible freedom he always allowed himself. His drawings are a witness to his liberty, and somehow a positive carelessness about the conventions of form. His drawn work has also become vinyl record sleeves, and are a good example of how sometimes we should not give a damn to what people say. I keep wondering what he would be doing today if he hadn’t died so young.

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Sarah Howgate: Lucian Freud Portratis

Sarah Howgate: Lucian Freud Portratis

Apart from being a big fan of his painting style, the exhibition [at the National Portrait Gallery] where I bought this catalogue was one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have ever seen. His brushstrokes are so remarkable. This book has become a reference for me for so many things. I sometimes simply open it to enjoy the images and start immediately looking for information surrounding every work.

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Álvaro Siza: Álvaro Siza: Sketches at Dinner

Álvaro Siza: Álvaro Siza: Sketches at Dinner

This book is a catalogue of drawings from the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, from one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have ever seen. I came back from Taiwan, where the exhibition was happening, with a sense that everyone should practice drawing. Years later, I was reading an interview with Physics Nobel Prize Laureate Richard Feynman and he said that as a scientist, he never thought so much about emotions, so he decided to learn how to draw to express his emotions now. I thought immediately about this book. 

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Joaquim Paulo Fernandes: Jazz Covers

Joaquim Paulo Fernandes: Jazz Covers

This was my first book on music, and I worked with a great author and collector in Portugal, Joaquim Paulo Fernandes to make this wonderful time machine. The first version of this book won the prize of Book of the Year by the Jazz Paris Association, a kind of Oscar for jazz books. But this second version of the book is even better than the first. It comes in two volumes and in a slipcase. It gives me immense pleasure to browse through this book once in a while. And I still discover stuff in it I hadn’t realised was so important.