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."
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.