... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

266: a few more books (Rehashin' Taschen )

So I’m milking Taschen again for another blog post.  These books just look so good; it’s an easy way of making the blog look pretty.  Most of these books have no content, just the pictures – for example Surfing (Vintage Surfing Graphics) edited by Jim Heimann (Taschen’s executive collector of vintage ephemera) is simply, after a short introductory test, page after page of cheesy book and magazine covers, postcards and advertisements, featuring surfers being groovy, wiping out, posing and sometimes surfing.  I still don’t get it though.


Japanese Beauties, similarly laid out, subtitled Vintage Graphics 1900-1970 is a collection of smiling sexless Japanese women advertising radios, light bulbs, sneezing, parasols, skiing, tea, and skin whitening cream.  From the collection of Alex Gross, an extremely talented painter of hyper-real surrealism who obviously takes an influence from the images he collects.  I’d never actually heard of Alex Gross until a minute ago, but I really like what I can see on his website; you might too. 


I feel I’m not really putting in the effort with this post.  I have a cement feeling in my head, and a hunger induced by boredom.  The leftover chilli from yesterday’s massive successful experiment is calling me.  I used steak as well as mince; the steak was done all day in the slow cooker, with vegetable stock, spices, chilli pepper, onions and garlic.  Then I made chilli as usual, but when it came to add the stock, I tipped in the whole beautiful steak/stock creation.  It was a marvel to behold.

My mind is more on the chilli than on statements about art/design books.  Had I been focusing I could have used flowery evocative language to describe the bizarre scenes in Alex Gross’ paintings; branded coffee cups and snake-eyes, six-legged and space-bound.  I could have painted pictures with my words to bring to life the images in Surfing and Japanese Beauties – the problem is, I am only slightly interested in them.  They are undoubtedly very interesting visual resources, and exceptionally good collections.  I blame google images for making me ungrateful and expectant of infinite resources.  What a dullard I’ve become.  I need to go and See the World:


<  More of the same.  Pictures of cheesy bastards on yachts, jetset jet-age jetsetters, jetsetting and jetting around the planet whilst being served cosmopolitans and plastic containers of foodstuff with a side helping of peas and whiskey.  Ocean liners and blimps get a look-in too.  And imaginary future trains hurtling passed the savage red man.  The world is a tiny plaything for the 1950s American and his mistress.

"It will be apparent that it is difficult
to discern which properties each thing
possesses in reality."
(Democritus, 8th Century BCE)


Alchemy & Mysticism: The Hermetic Cabinet (edited by someone called Alexander Roob, who appears to have the worst website ever) is more my sort of thing.  Not because I give any intellectual credence to this kind of bollocks, but because the ancient images are exciting: fiery circles, meaningless or forgotten symbols, test tubes, snakes, coffins, dancing bones, blue-skinned snake men dancing with risen kings under all-seeing eyes and patterns of triangles, brimstone, philosophical trees, two-headed sacrifice victims, scorpion penises and big-breasted angels laying spread on the surface of the ocean.  Quite an adventure.

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