Collage artist and creative director Mat Maitland on his most-prized books

1 February 2017
Reading Time
3 minute read

Artist Mat Maitland’s surrealist pop collage images and films have been commissioned by a roster of big clients including Kenzo, Hunter, Vogue Japan, and Vanity Fair. Mat is also creative director of London-based agency Big Active, which specialises in art direction, graphic design and also represents a host of image makers. In his role, Mat has created images and campaigns for artists such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Goldfrapp and Elton John, among others.

With such a distinctive style, we were gagging to see which books have influenced Mat, and given him inspiration time and time again. The artist has presented us with a pure visual treat with tomes from Allen Jones, Richard Philips and Serge Lutens. Enjoy!

Hajime Sorayama: Hajime Soroyama

I have a whole collection of books on Sorayama so just picked this one out randomly for no particular reason. This specific book is from 1993 and is a compilation of his sexy pin-ups with a section on the sexualised chrome robots he first introduced in 1979.  He’s often categorised as an airbrush artist and while this does feature heavily in his work it’s also a combination of paint brush and pencil work too. Nobody does it better.

Irving Penn: Irving Penn Regards The Work Of Issey Miyake

This really is a must have book and I always go back to it time and time again. It contains the work that photographer Irving Penn made in collaboration with Issey Miyake between 1975 –1998 and celebrates the purest form of collaboration where one part wouldn’t exist without the other. The images are a heady cocktail of humour, proportional perspective and menacing fantasy and a constant conversation between the otherworldly fabrics and designs by Miyake and the masterful lens of Penn.

Allen Jones: Sheer Magic

I have several Allen Jones books, this one being a compilation of his work. I’ve always been enthralled by his use of colour and ways of suggesting the female form. Jones made his name in the 60s pop art scene through his “women as furniture” sculptures, some of which featured in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange but for me it’s the work that he created from the 70s onwards which even today feels super modern.

Richard Phillips: Richard Phillips

I first saw Richard Phillips work in 1998 as I walked past a gallery in London showing his work. The painting on view through the window was Origin of the Milky Way and it struck me immediately as a new wave of pure pop art which I hadn’t seen much of at the time, plus I am a sucker for anything that has a photorealist style too. This book, from 2000, was a present from my wife Jaja and I have loved him (and her of course) ever since! 

Serge Lutens: L’esprit Serge Lutens: The Spirit of Beauty

One of my favourite image makers and an inspiration for anyone wanting to travel into a different creative field, a real renaissance man. Lutens was originally a hair stylist who then experimented with make-up and photography using friends as models. Vogue hired him in the early 60s to create hair, make-up and jewellery stories. Throughout the 80s he shot advertising campaigns notably for Shiseido. He made two shot movies in the 70s and in 2000 he launched his own perfume brand. Wow. This book is quite rare and is an amazing compendium of his photography.

Share Article

About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.