Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘Taschen’

01 JULY, 2011

Linda McCartney’s Tender Photographs of The Beatles and Other Icons

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What the Queen’s speech has to do with Jimi Hendrix’s fro and John Lennon in color.

Last year, the excellent Nowhere Boy offered an unprecedented look at John Lennon’s unknown early life, and earlier this year, the world took a first glimpse of some rare and intimate photos of The Beatles taken by the Fab Four’s tour manager in The Lost Beatles Photographs: The Bob Bonis Archive, 1964-1966. This month, the quest to know the private Beatles is catapulted into a whole other dimension in Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs — a remarkable retrospective volume of work by the late and great Linda McCartney, wife of Paul, passionate animal rights activist and, above all, formidable music photographer who captured cultural icons like Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel and The Grateful Dead, and was the first woman to land the coveted Rolling Stone magazine cover with her portrait of Eric Clapton in 1968.

The lavish retrospective, from none other than Taschen, features the most compelling photographs culled from her archive of over 200,000 images. From her early portraits of the Swingin’ Sixties to her final years with The Beatles, McCartney’s work spans an incredible range of cultural history and energy, ranging from the quiet poetry of private moments to the palpable creative energy of studio sessions to the riveting exhilaration of life on and behind the stage.

'My Love' - Linda McCartney, London, 1978

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles and Yoko Ono' - Linda McCartney, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Queen's Speech' - Linda McCartney, Liverpool, 1968

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles at Brian Epstein’s House' - Linda McCartney, London, 1967

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles' - Linda McCartney, Abbey Road, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Self Portrait, Paul and Mary' - Linda McCartney, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

Besides The Beatles, the retrospective, with text by Annie Liebowitz and Martin Harrison, features priceless photos of other icons, including Jimi Henrdix, Twiggy, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Willem de Kooning.

'Jimi Hendrix' - Linda McCartney, 1968

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek' - Linda McCartney, New York City, 1967

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Twiggy' - Linda McCartney, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Johnny and Kate' - Linda McCartney, London, 1995

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'John Lennon In Colour' - Linda McCartney, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs is both unassuming and exceptional, humanizing the fetishized concept of celebrity in a way few have managed in the history of photography.

via Flavorwire

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06 DECEMBER, 2010

Helmut Newton’s SUMO: An Epic Retrospective

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German-American fashion photographer Helmut Newton (1920-2004) is easily among the 20th century’s most prolific and provocative visual creators. His signature erotic black-and-white photos graced the pages of just about every major fashion magazine and style bible of our time. In 1999, Newton and his wife Jane enlisted a team of 50 people — writers, editors, photographers, art directors, designers, book binders — to spend three years capturing Newton’s ambitious body of work in an equally ambitious volume. With 480 pages weighing in at 66 lbs, Helmut Newton’s SUMO — published by Taschen, of course — became a prized collector’s item, was included in the MoMA’s permanent collection, and even earned recognition as ” the biggest, most lavish book production of the 20th century.” The limited edition of 10,000 signed and numbered copies sold out so quickly that it multiplied its value to the eyeball-popping price tag of $150,000 and the copy numbered 1 even broke the record for the most expensive book published in the 20th century, selling for $430,000 at an auction in Berlin in 2000.

Ten years later, Taschen released a “budget” version of the book at the vastly more affordable price of $150 (or, if you get it on Amazon, $94.50.) But don’t be fooled — this new volume is far from a poor man’s version of the original. It features 15 lbs of iconic Helmut Newton photographs, some rare images, and a fascinating making-of booklet that offers a behind-the-scenes peek at what’s easily the most ambitious book production process in the history of photography.

The new edition of SUMO even comes with special stand for proud owners to display the book in their homes — now that’s a homage done right.

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29 NOVEMBER, 2010

Steve Shapiro’s Taxi Driver: Rare Photos of Cinema History

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Taxi Driver is revered as one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces, the powers of Scorsese and DeNiro converging to create a milestone that would influence generations of filmmakers to come and forever imprint film audiences worldwide. In 1976, it was a piece of ambitious cinematic innovation, blending the noir and crime thriller genres in an unexpected way unlike any film had dared before. Today, the world gets a rare new look at the set of the iconic film in the form of Steve Schapiro, Taxi Driver — a stride-stopping 328-page volume of never-before-seen photographs by Steve Shapiro (of The Godfather Family Album fame), the special photographer on the set of Taxi Driver in 1975.

The limited-edition comes in only 1,000 copies, each numbered and signed by Shapiro himself, at $700 a piece. (Then again, we suspect serious cinema lovers and Scorsese fans would gladly give a kidney for this Taschen gem, so the pricetag may indeed be quite alright.)

With a foreword by Martin Scorsese himself and priceless images of a young De Niro, as well as a rare glimpse of a long-lost New York City, Steve Schapiro, Taxi Driver offers a priceless timecapsule of film history bound — and clamshell-boxed — to delight film buffs, New York lovers and vintage photography aficionados alike.

In 2010, we spent more than 4,500 hours bringing you Brain Pickings — the blog, the newsletter and the Twitter feed — over which we could’ve seen 53 feature-length films, listened to 135 music albums or taken 1,872 trips to the bathroom. If you found any joy and inspiration here this year, please consider supporting us with a modest donation — it lets us know we’re doing something right.





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23 NOVEMBER, 2010

Greatest of All Time: Remembering Muhammad Ali

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To celebrate 30 years in publishing, luxury book purveyor Taschen (remember them?) is releasing a new edition of what’s easily their biggest hit to date: The 2004 volume GOAT: Greatest of All Time, celebrating the great Muhammad Ali. With thousands of photographs, art and visual memorability from over 100 artists, two gatefold sequences, the most compelling interviews with Ali culled from a half-century of archives, and original essays by some of today’s most exciting writers, the tome is fully deserving of Der Spiegel‘s description:

This is a monument on paper, the most megalomaniacal book in the history of civilization, the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed — Ali’s last victory.” ~ Der Spiegel

With 800 pages weighing in at 75 lbs, GOAT is a heavyweight that will knock you out with its lush imagery, depth of perspective, creative point of view, and extraordinary energy.

Today, seven years after the publication of GOAT, we are proud to publish this affordable edition at last so that Ali’s genius can be shared with the widest possible audience. Smaller in size but not in impact, this new version brings the people’s champ to the people.” ~ Taschen

And, at $150, the new edition is a steal compared to the $4,500 (yes, you read that right) price tag of the original. Better yet, Amazon has knocked 37% off for a handsome $94.50. By our calculations that’s, oh let’s see, a 97.9% discount — which, in relative terms, makes the book almost free. And they say premium publishing was stubbornly snobbish.

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15 OCTOBER, 2010

Trespass: A Brief History of Uncommissioned Street Art

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We have a soft spot for street art, so we’re thrilled to announce the official release of Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art — the fantastic new book by WoosterCollective founders Marc and Sara Schiller.

What makes Trespass different from other street art books is that it’s not a street art book. It’s a book that certainly includes street art and graffiti but goes beyond that to also address performance, protest, sculpture, and the whole goal of the book was to really look at the context of street art in a much larger historical perspective.” ~ Marc Schiller

Trespass comes from Taschen, easily the most visually ambitious publisher today, whom you may recall from the superb Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made. Which means the book is an absolute visual gem and photographic treat of the most indulgent kind.

From Guatemalan guerrilla gardeners to icons like Banksy and Barry McGee, Trespass is as much an exhaustive compendium of compelling artwork as it is a modern manifesto for activism, democracy and freedom of speech.

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