Brooklyn-based Mike Perry is an artist, animator, creative director, designer and poet. His output is broad, encompassing paintings, drawings, sculptures, illustrations, books and murals among other things. We’ve long been fans of his work on the site, which is characterised by a bright and friendly colour palette, combining abstract motifs with humorous doodle-like drawings.
Mike’s projects have celebrated various topics including the art of hand-drawn type in his first published book Hand Job, an ode to the female nude in My Mother Caught Me Doodling and an anthology of contemporary silk-screening in Pulled: A Catalogue of Screen-Printing. Creating such rich imagery and with a stack of great references, we decided to ask Mike to share what’s made its way on to his bookshelf over the years. Here, the creative shares a hearty collection of artist books along with a photobook that celebrates Jaybird magazine, a publication from the 60s which grew from a family nudist journal to a psychedelic documentation of naked hippies. Enjoy!
Chrissy Angliker: Paint/ing/s
I count Chrissy as a friend and remember talking to her when she was offered the book. She described her vision in such a precise way and the end result was not just a great insight into her creativity, but a piece of art in its own right.
Barry McGee, Stephen Powers and Todd James: Street Market
I love everything about it. The way it feels in my hands, the softness of the paper, and the weight is perfect. It is a physical experience and then you open it up and you get blasted with all of this amazing original content!
Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray: John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes 1874-1882
I have loved JSS from the minute I discovered his genius. When I first thought about the painter I wanted to be the most, it was him. I think everyone interested in art needs to have at least one book of Sargent’s paintings in their collection. I look the book over every six months and am continuously inspired by the paint on canvas.
Black Dice and Jason Frank Rothenberg: Groe
Black Dice were art school legends in MPLS, so when I picked up this strange book and loved everything about it I was not surprised they were involved. Also, I love photographer Jason Frank Rothenberg, so it was a win-win. Each page is a reminder of both the complexities and simplicities of art making at its best.
Dian Hanson: Naked as a Jaybird
In the early 2000s I worked for Urban Outfitters and there was a box with free samples from a vendor. This book was there and the first page I opened displayed a penis with a frog on it. I instantly knew this was the book for me. I just love imagining the dynamics of the photoshoot that made this happen.
About the Author
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.