Photo: Composite by the VICE team
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It’s time again to fill your coffee tables and shelves with the biggest and craziest art books imaginable from legendary publisher TASCHEN without spending billions of dollars. We are very attentive to any opportunity to buy our way to culture, and nothing says “I am deliciously scholarly” like the association of, say, a coffee table book by Frank Lloyd Wright and all languages. pink and choppy from Ren Hang’s photography. Nothing invites you to stay until the wee hours of the night in a living room, discussing both Hegel and the underrated feminism of the last 20 seconds of the “Stars Are Blind” video, than a big pile of smart, exciting and creative TASCHEN books. .
The publisher is having a big flash sale just in time for your vaxxed summer swingers / dinners / chiller nights, so we’ve made a short list of our favorite titles to have, oh so casually, sat on your IKEA coffee table. We believe in you.
Sneaker Freaker: The Ultimate Sneaker Book
Any book that contains the word “sneaker” twice in its title will really be, really good at documenting the global sneaker phenomenon that has swept the streetwear tides over the years, and the cult magazine that documented its rise. The first book of its kind, Sneakers fan compiles over 650 pages of the most iconic sneakers with extreme attention to detail. The Guardian let’s call it “a coffee table classic for the rubber sole obsessed”, and we call it your next non-birthday gift for yourself.
Tom from Finland XXL
A seminal figure in all things gay and leather-belted, we could go on and on about the importance of Tom of Finland’s truly iconic and highly stylized male homoerotic art, but if you know it, you know it. Art and pop culture fans of all gender and sexual orientation love her work, so be warned – this one is going to sell out fast.
Esoterica Library: Astrology
How to understand astrology intimately, when you know almost nothing about it? Look at the art he has inspired over the past thousand years, from medieval manuscripts to the creations of Betye Saar. The second volume in TASCHEN’s Library of Esoterica series, this book is both a tome and a guide to learning the ways of the stars and contextualizing them across time and culture. “There was this moment [during research]”Author Andrea Richards told VICE,” where I sat and thought, This is exactly the kind of book I want to write, where I can talk to an astrologer, NASA scientist, and Islamic art scholar on the same day. For me, the interdisciplinary nature of astrology is exciting.
Matthew Weiner: Mad Men
Remember how much Mad Men drooling the world over mid-century design in 2007? No one did it better, or with more detail, from costumes to cultural references; the color palette with sharp script. This two-volume tribute to the series includes production ephemera, photos on set, writers’ room notes, and a bunch of gorgeous stills, of course.
Frank Lloyd Wright
There have been a lot of architects, man. But only one wore a cape. Frank Lloyd Wright’s imprint on design and architecture in the United States is undeniable and almost incomparable; from his Midwestern ranch homes to the melancholy Mesoamerican-inspired estates in Los Angeles that have featured in films like Blade runner and House on the haunted hill. A dive into the architect’s portfolio – this time with unlimited access given to TASCHEN from the Frank Lloyd Wright archives – is not just an exploration of 20th century design, it is an archive of ingenuity. cultural heritage that was way ahead of its time.
Lo — TEK: Conception by radical indigenism
When it comes to dealing with climate extremes, the Lo –– TEK design movement turns to the wisdom of indigenous peoples around the world who have cultivated the land in a conscious, sustainable and resilient manner, essentially forever. As we enter an era of unprecedented technology, increased human population and the need for housing, anthropologist Wade Davis explores how the movement can help us reframe our cross-species conception and ethical values.
Cracking the pages of Genesis is such an epic and immersive mixed experience, that it falls somewhere in between that ride to Disneyland (Soarin ‘Over California?) The black and white images of photographer Sebastião Salgado capture all the sublime sensations of the Amazon, of the ‘Africa and everywhere else he went in his eight-year quest to find landscapes and people who live unchanged despite the devastating onslaught of modern development.
Basquiat’s work defined New York City in the 1980s, but the scope of his paintings goes far beyond a single city or era; and few have held it as visceral and steadfast in a mirror to subjects of capitalism, race and sexuality like him. Finally, you can see his major works at home with monographs in XXL format that give each brushstroke the attention it deserves.
Helmut Newton: SUMO
The first edition of Helmut Newton: Sumo was one of the most ambitious books TASCHEN says they’ve ever tried, though we kinda feel that is the case with everything they spawn. Either way, this XL edition of Newton’s photography, who found art in trade and commerce in art, is a feast for the eyes. It has even been revised by his wife, June.
God, we miss Ren Hang. The Beijing-based photographer has made subversive images that stay with us, from octopus tentacles sensually woven into human hair, to a pair of legs divided by hands manicured in red; a woman’s face framed by a peacock, or an erect penis urinating into Godzilla’s mouth. (Yeah, this book is really not safe for work.) Hang passed away in 2017 at the age of 29, but his brief career has been so rich and daring that she has garnered over 20 exhibitions in solo and 70 in a group in just six years. . The next best thing? Revisit the best of his work in this book.
There is nothing Dalí wouldn’t? From Alka Seltzer’s triggered commercials to tarot revisiting with one of the coolest deck designs on the market, the guy was on fire.
This is a full exploration of his 78-card deck, originally published by the artist in 1984, but this time it has been reissued with an accompanying book to explain what all those chalices, sticks mean. and these buffoons.
Here’s an idea: Pair this book about Charles and Ray Eames, a couple of 20th century design dream teams, with this one. Mad Men save for a gift that will keep the mid-century design lover in your life occupied, buried in the pages for, oh, another week. Then watch them head over to 1stDibs to find some of the iconic chairs designed by the duo.
Bosch: the complete work
Curious what it would have been like to do with acid in the 16th century and be very afraid of God? Look no further than the works of Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch painter whose triptych of heaven and hell has intrigued, enchanted and terrified us for centuries. This book is so large that it shows details of the artist’s works that you can’t even see without a magnifying glass.
LeRoy Grannis: 60s and 70s surf photography
Finally, one for those we will call the romantics of the sand. LeRoy Grannis has captured all the sun, vans, wipeouts and longboards of surf culture as it emerged in the 1960s and 70s, and he will keep you warm this winter.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, so get in there and beef up that shelf.
The game room staff independently selected all of the items featured in this story.