Over The Desk – A VNA Book Review

Not something we usually do, and probably won’t get around to doing again for quite some time, but we thought we’d review some of the books that we’ve had spread over the desk acting as upmarket coasters for the past month.

It’s also probably the only time you’ll see publications about animal porn next to books that include the Vatican’s ltd edition record releases. Unless perhaps that sort of thing goes on at the Vatican when their librarian’s car isn’t being used to smuggle hundreds of kilos of illicit drugs. Who knows…

T-post 96 – Alife – T-post


Now-retired Alife head honcho, Tony Arcabascio has stepped down from the pioneering clothing brand to concentrate on publishing. His latest focus is Swedish-born heavy-hitting monthly t-shirt zine, T-Post; a wearable magazine, with each ‘issue’ focusing on a different story or brand.


No. 96 brings the Alife brand to the fore, looking at what made the clothing company cool when it first started and why it’s still one of the best brands to have come out of downtown New York 15 years on. In this issue, Tony A sits down with now-owner, Treis Hill, to talk about some of the crazy times between the start of the brand and the handing over of the reigns to Treis, from the lootings of the NYC blackout, right through to the latest collabs and projects Alife have lined up with musicians like Wu-Tang and Cypress Hill.


www.tpostmag.com / www.alifenewyork.com

Juxtapoz – Psychedelic – Gingko Press


A trippy journey through the arcane world of psychedelic art. Respected art magazine, Juxtapoz trawl their archives to bring together a fine selection of the best artwork and illustrations, with a foreword from Jux’s own illustration and erotica editor, Hannah Stouffer.


Starting off with early literary explorations of Huxley, followed later by writers like Ginsberg and Burroughs, Psychedelia really came into its stride in the ‘60’s as people’s ideas of freedom and rebellion rose alongside their heightened senses. In this book, Juxtapoz joins the dots between the writers of the previous centuries and the modern-day talent of artists such as Roid, Skinner, Maya Hayuk and Kelsey Brookes.



Broken Fingaz – Sex Picnic – Broken Fingaz 2014


Israeli crew, Broken Fingaz, are keeping one foot in the grave with their latest zine, ‘Sex Picnic’. As to be expected from the Haifa hellraisers, this is one warped rendition of their aerosol-eroded senses of decency. Needless to say it’s full of pictures of skeletons getting freaky with buxom animorphic nymphs.


Tant and Unga have gone full bore on this edition with a 40-page full colour risograph print and there’s even a limited edition box set complete with a screenprint, BFC patches, a sticker pack and t-shirt of your choice. Whether you’re as deranged as Jimmy Savile, or simply a bit necro-curious, Sex Picnic is the one-stop shop for all your undead orgy fantasies.


www.ghostowncrew.com / www.brokenfingaz.com

The Street Art World – Peter Bengtsen – Almendros De Granada Press


Lund University lecturer, Peter Bengtsen is probably one of the most academically qualified people to wax lyrical on the subject of street art. In this publication, Bengtsen explores the relationship between street art and the mainstream art world, looking at the crossover point and the conflicting attitudes within the street art community regarding classical art history and institutions.


Bengtsen looks at the impact of street art and its ability to challenge attitudes and perceptions of public space, as well as the effect of the digital age on the scene. Various figures in the street art world are examined to illuminate the progress and development of street art, from bloggers and enthusiasts, to gallerists and collectors, highlighting both ends of the spectrum from process to publicity. This is an intelligent insight into much more than meets the eye in everyday street-activism.



Collector’s Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics – Stuart Tolley – Thames & Hudson


Acclaimed designer, Stuart Tolley, cut his teeth working for magazines such as Sleazenation, going on to found design agency Transmission. This book is a look at over 170 example of contemporary music packaging, looking at everything from the ultra-rare publications of The Vatican Secret Archives right through to independent productions from Massive Attack and international recording pop artists like Coldplay.


Featuring the most innovative and interesting designs from around the world, this book features some key insights into the design process. A must-read for anyone with a hard-on for product design and a great reference journal for all in the commerce industry. Broken down into 4 sections, Collector’s Edition covers Boxed, Multiples, Hand and Extras, looking at formats, materials and finishes in each of the products. Some stellar interviews with industry heavyweights such as Stanley Donwood make this a great read.