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Owen Gildersleeve’s Bookshelf

Work / Bookshelf

Bookshelf: Illustrator and designer Owen Gildersleeve shares some of his favourite tomes

Our weekly Bookshelf feature must be fairly nerve-wracking stuff for book artists like Owen Gildersleeve, whose recurring presence on the walls of It’s Nice That is about as unquestioned as the changing of the seasons. How do you represent your own book collection when half of your practice is about creating images for new ones? Fortunately Owen’s passed our test with flying colours, a 10 out of 10 for his five publications that have not only informed and educated him, but make excellent eye candy for us book-lovers too. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you might just spot a very exciting new one all of his own, due to hit bookshelves very soon…

A1

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

A2

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

A3

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

A4

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

A5

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

Joe Crocker: Vendoin

This is one of my favourite books that we printed while I was working at Nobrow during the early days, by the exceptionally talented illustrator Joe Crocker. Written in an entirely made up language, the book tells a charming story of a man who is searching for his right stiletto. Joe predominantly works with inks, and I love how his textures have translated through the screen printing process. Every spread of this is a gem.

B1

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

B2

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

B3

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

B4

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

B5

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

Anselm Kiefer: Karfunkelfee

Anselm Kiefer is one of my all-time favourite artists. His huge canvases, often themed around German history, are truly awe-inspiring, and I love the way he combines found objects and raw materials in his paintings. His tactile, hands-on approach was a big influence in my early work. Having been a great admirer of Anselm Kiefer’s work since my school days, it was really exciting to see his largest ever London show in 2009. Karfunkelfee and The Fertile Crescent were held simultaneously at the two White Cube galleries in Hoxton and Mason’s Yard. The exhibition really blew me away, especially Karfunkelfee at Mason’s Yard, where he showed a range of large canvases depicting dark forest-scapes, inspired by tales of the Carbuncle Fairy.

C1

Creating With Paper

C2

Creating With Paper

C3

Creating With Paper

C4

Creating With Paper

Creating With Paper

A beautiful papercraft book from the 1960s. There are some really fun projects and tips in here, such as “Mask Magic,” “Paper Puppet Magic,” “Paper Mobile Magic” (starting to notice a theme here?) and “Start a Paper Club” which is something I’m seriously considering.

D1

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

D2

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

D3

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

D4

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

Sing Statistics: You Are the Friction

The latest book by good friends Sing Statistics, and the third in the Friction series. The book features 12 short stories inspired by illustrations, and twelve illustrations inspired by short stories. Jez and Lizzy put a lot of time and love into this, so I’m really happy for them that it has come out so nicely. Both the stories and illustrations featured are absolutely fantastic, and the debossed Ray Fenwick cover illustration is a dream!

E1

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

E2

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

E4

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

E5

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

E6

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

Graphic Though Facility: I Am a Camera

I was given this book while studying photography at school. Unfortunately I never got to see the exhibition that the book accompanied, but it’s such a thick tome that it seems to nicely capture what the show was about. This book really opened my eyes to a whole new world of photography and fine art, and introduced me to the likes of Thomas Demand and Andreas Gursky who have since been huge influences to me and my work.