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Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)…author or painter?

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NO doubt in my mind. For me Jean Cocteau was a painter/photographer. Surely he was a multitalented artist, but in his drawings he shines. Personal, bold and typical Cocteau styled. These drawings are timeless and have at one time been published by Taschen in highly affordable, but beautiful executed publication.

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But beside this great introduction to his ( erotic) drawings there are many other publications worth collecting on this artist. www.ftn-books.com has some of them available, but it is well worth to search for these small but excellent publications on book markets and at garage sales. Cocteau was a great and original artist.

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Jan Saudek (1935)

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I begin this blog on Jan Saudek with a quote i found on AZQuote:

I believe all artists, if they are not lying to themselves, must believe that the best part of their work, or even their life, is in front of them. To look only to the past and to say ‘those were the best years, when I was young’ is to say that in the future there is nothing.

Saudek has become a household name in photography after Benedikt Taschen decided to publish his photo’s in cheap but beautiful glossy books. These books made his name among photography lovers and not only because of their quality, but also because of their subjects. Saudek never did censor himself and used many models all from his direct surroundings and family and photographed them being their complete self.

These photo’s are so typical Saudek that his works can never be mistaken to have been taken by somebody else. In an instant you can see that they are Saudek’s. In the mid eighties, Art Unlimited…an Amsterdam based publisher , began to publish his postcards and with this publication the great popularity of Saudek’s photo’s began. After this initial introduction to the art world large exhibits and gallery presentations followed ( gallery TORCH). Now his photography is available to all, because of the many publications there ghave been with Saudek photographs, but the originals are available only to a few because they have become far too expensive for ordinary collectors to collect. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on Saudel. Part of which is printed by Rosbeek, which i believe is the very best printer for these great photo’s

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Helmut Newton….only in Taschen publications?

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The story is known to every book collector. Some 10 years ago Benedikt Taschen had the idea to publish the largest and heaviest book on Helmut Newton ever published. Asked Philippe Starck to design a stand for the book , set the edition size……. and sold all books over some years. Now and then these books surface and draw lots of interest. Antiquarian booksellers are trying to sell these for USD. 10.000 or even more. Taschen produced 3 years ago a much smaller reedition of the book for euro 99.00 with the same photographs within this title, but because of the much better price they could sell it again and i predict that the same title will be presented in a few years within a bargain edition ( printed in China ;-)). What makes this so special…..i really do not know . I consider Taschen as one of the best art publishers in the world , but with such large editions they are hardly interesting for the serious collector. I love the photography of Helmut Newton, but would only use the Taschen books to get an excellent overview of his works. If you are a book collector it is better to focus on the gallery and museum publications from which the Repertinum/ Salzburg one is maybe the best from the last decade.

wilfried

 

www.ftn-books.com