Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hey! Modern Art and Pop Culture

Hey! Is for the true image addict. This Bilingual import from our French neighbours is an unbeatable source of off-the-wall outsider art and illustration. It is a quarterly magazine and we have issues going all the way back to the first edition published back in 2010. There are now 13 of them, each one as packed with gloriously lavish and surreal imagery as the next.

The luscious print quality and generous page size shows off the featured artists well, and these images are supported by in depth interviews that provide a decent glimpse into the personalities of everyone involved. It is a magazine that truly celebrates the creative individual.

Founded by Anne and Julien, they started the magazine with the philosophy of further breaking down the boundaries between 'high' art and 'low' art, showing work that is as equally influenced by the culture and history of tattoos, graffiti and comics as it is of painting. Their wilful manifesto gives the magazine a strong backbone, bringing a thrillingly diverse range of international artists together in one place.

Through their collaboration with the Halle St. Pierre Museum in Paris they have also curated two exhibitions, the exhibition catalogues for these are also available in the shop, bound in extravagantly gilded hardback covers designed by tattoo artist Easy Sacha.

The magazine are priced at £18.99. The catalogues Art Show Part I and Art Show Part II are priced at £30 and £40.

- Jon Lander

Moby-Dick: A Pop-Up Book

We recently restocked this pop-up book classic by Sam Ita. Not considering it suffice to be a mere pop-up book it is also a graphic novel. An adaptation of Herman Melville's weighty tome, it dispenses with the cerebral prose, and revels in a more sensory spectacle.

Each double page spread has a centre piece pop-up with additional gadgets at the side. As you turn from one page to the next you can feel the book creak with loaded intent, poised and ready to spring into life. The sheer mechanics are unfathomable: hidden within this book we have ships kitted out in all their rigging, an entire church congregation, a telescope with an actual working viewfinder, and my personal favourite a three-dimensional interactive Captain Ahab banging his head on a map as an expression of his frustration at the elusive search for the White Whale.

It's not suitable for very young children, given its intricate construction, but for those aged 6 and up. But why would you waste such wonderful artistry on children anyway?

It costs £23 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Badges of Mark Pawson

Book Artist and Creator/Collector of Ephemera Mark Pawson has been making badges from his East London home since 1985. They are a fitting expression of his unique philosophy in art, life and commerce. A believer in the artistic value of everyday design, and producing work in cheap multiples, accessible and affordable for everyone, he has made books about Kinder Eggs, Die-cut Plug Wiring Diagrams and his collection of Scandinavian viking figurines he has christened Noggins.

Over the decades Pawson the One-Man-Production-Line has released badges about books, computers, the weather, the 1990s, Japan, John Cage, Mexican wrestling masks and, naturally, badges about badges themselves.

For the more sophisticated badge-wearer, Mark has also trademarked his own technique for making fabric covered ones, which come in large or small, and a myriad of designs to match your outfit, collected from second-hand fabrics and shirts.

Taking his values of recycling, collecting and appreciating the most unlikely of stuff to its most extreme logical extension, Mark has even produced a limited run of hand bound books constructed entirely out of the used perforated sheets from which the badge designs have been punched out. The book is titled OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, as this is how the cover composed of perforated Os reads. Of course! Mark's work is an example of the best sort of madness: the one that makes perfect sense.

Badges, Books and postcards by Mark Pawson are all available in the Bookartbookshop.
The badges range in price from £3 to £7.50.

- Jon Lander