Buffalo Zine editors Adrián González-Cohen and David Uzquiza on their favourite books

25 October 2017
Reading Time
6 minute read

Buffalo Zine is the magazine that continually reinvents itself. From issue to issue it takes on a new logo, design and format that suits the chosen theme, taking its readers on a journey through fashion and art like no other. The chameleon publication is now biannual and it’s just launched its sixth issue for AW17, which is themed around the world of interiors. With six covers to choose from, each one adopts the aesthetic of well-known interiors magazines and is “full of amazing people, beauty, ugliness and open doors”.

In this issue’s editor’s letter, editor Adrián González-Cohen talks about how he and fellow editor David Uzquiza drifted towards the theme. "An interesting idea David and I were discussing a couple of weeks ago with Mr. Mario Testino (this is major name-dropping like a proper editor’s letter, right? I wont call him Mario yet though). We were saying that people who are very involved in fashion, sometimes need an escape, a hobby, something different from the fashion world. And so interiors kick in.

“The thing is, it’s basically the same shit, let’s face it. It’s fashion for the home. It’s styling and matching colours and putting together vignettes. But it really does give a feeling of relief. Then Mario (oops, I said it!) was also observing that there is an age for each thing: your 20s are for clothes, your 30s for interiors, your 40s for art. David and I smiled and looked at each other, thinking about the obvious impossibility of joining the latter phase, as the decade beginning with four creeps closer and closer…”

With such eclectic and beautiful tastes we asked Adrián and David to share the books that sit proudly on their shelves. The pair have been generous and given us a two-for-one deal, with Adrián and David providing four books each. From poetry and art to an encyclopaedia about gnomes, there’s something for everyone to pore over.

Adrián González-Cohen

Federico von Berzewiczy–Pallavicini: Die k. k. Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel

I found this in a very weird book store in Madrid. It was run by a very old man, in a small corner, near my old place. It didn’t really look like a proper store, more like his home. It was full of books and these drawings he used to do, which were very comical and colourful. I bought one of those as well. Later I discovered that someone actually curated an exhibition of his drawings in the Reina Sofia museum. 

This book is such a gem, it’s about this pastry place in Vienna, they would create the most amazing windows and displays in the shop. Extremely decadent and dreamy, it’s all collected in this book alongside the beautiful illustrations. It portrays my idea of eccentricity, passion, timeless taste and personal style pretty well.

E. E Cummings: Selected Poems

I was very into poetry when I was a teenager, pretty much the cliche of teenage angst. Cummings was my favourite and when I was 19 or 20 I even created a T-shirt brand named after one of his poems, which I used to sell exclusively to this store in Madrid. It was a mix of my poetry and drawings and photocopies printed on white tees and sweatshirts. They would come with a bag with objects related to the story in the tee, lighters, ciggies…. Pretty tender. Cummings Selected Poems is probably the book I give as a present more than anything to special people in my life.

Written by Timothy Shy and illustrated by Ronald Searle: The Terror of St Trinian’s 

I’ve always loved a good old boarding school story. When I was a child, being raised in a catholic school, I used to fantasise a lot about the idea of boarding schools, thinking they were the epitome of my polarised situation. My world was evil teachers, punishment and discipline and I wanted freedom, naughty friends and smoking ciggies in the toilet. I guess that’s why I became very attracted to rebels afterwards. Also, I’m of course obsessed with the style of Ronald Searle’s illustrations. Polished but trashed.

Buffalo Zine No. 3

I’m very proud that we published a hardcover book, cloth bound with a page marker and a shiny dust jacket. An old time favourite, Charles Anastase, designed the pattern on the cover, which was an ecstatic Alice in Wonderland in different poses, printed over a mint green fabric. 

I did the styling of this jacket’s cover using Vivienne Westwood archive pieces and Brianna Capozzi shot it at the Geffrye Museum. It was her first day in London ever. We often approach photographers before they’ve blossomed and become too famous to work with us!

We printed this issue in a very old school printer in Bilbao, the only one in Spain doing the binding in-house. I think it really has a fairy tale vibe, as we intended. Every time I open it I still smell the magic.

David Uzquiza

Edited by Tricia Jones: i-D Soul

I love this book. A selection of projects originally published in past issues of i-D, it was put together with the contribution of hundreds of amazing people and compiled by Taschen in a book. It’s one you can revisit a million times. 

The Beyond Price chapter is about, “things you have in your life that money can’t buy”. In another one, people answer the question: “What does family mean to you?”. But my favourite chapter is Learn and Pass It On where they’re asked to share the most important things they have learnt along their way in their lives – what they think, feel and have had to overcome in words and images. There’s an abundance of ideas and thoughts on contemporary values. What a great concept and what a relentless labour of editing. 

Alain de Botton and John Armstrong: Art is Therapy 

Someone said museums are the new churches. But sometimes at an art show you ask yourself: “What am I _supposed_ to think about as I look at this?” I’m into the self-help/philosophy of the everyday life books of Alain de Botton, and he co-curated an intervention at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where giant Post-it notes were placed next to a selection of artworks. The notes, compiled in this catalogue, guided you with suggestions about how you could enjoy an artwork for its therapeutic effects. Each artwork is paired with a “contemporary sickness” connecting art and life, past and present.  

The book was designed by Irma Boom as an oversized Post-it pad and the pages are falling apart. It’s proven to make me feel less sorry for myself on a hungover Sunday (without going to church).

Ettore Sottsass: There is a planet

The ceramics. The lamps. The houses. The utopian cities. The bookshelves. And other pieces of furniture. But specifically, the ideas are as relevant as ever: “I think that all cultures on the planet should intertwine more and more without abandoning the deep significance of their roots and origins. They should mix into metaphors and new updated comforting images applicable for the whole planet. Because the region where we live, is really only one: it’s the planet.” 

Written by Wil Huygen, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet: Gnomes

I got this book as a Christmas present as a kid. A sort of encyclopaedia of all things gnome (what they have for breakfast, their sex habits and stuff) plus some mysterious gothic legends towards the end.  

It’s beautifully designed with fantastic illustrations you can get lost in. The original is Dutch and was published in 1976. It inspired an animated TV series I was obsessed with as a kid: _David, the Gnome_, which had every kid in Spain sat in front of the telly every Sunday after lunch, sometime around the late 80s. The protagonist was named David like me, and he was my kind of hero: eco-friendly, always hanging out in the forest with cool animal friends, into home crafts, and lived in the nicest house (under the roots of a tree) I had ever seen.

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