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This typographic map reduces London to the sum of its named places. The icons, symbols and hard lines representing churches, streets, rivers and parks have been expunged from the map, leaving only letters. London’s burnt off the earth yet it still exists as a psychogeographic entity recognisable by familiar place and word if not by objective figure or form. The map was an award winner at London Design Week 2007 and now a limited edition lithographic print of 100 is for sale. The poster is a wall-filling 60 by 40”, a scale that seems appropriate for the sprawling immensity of the city itself.

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In commemoration of Felice Varini’s artwork in, or on, the docks of Cardiff, I’m linking to his seminal publication “Points of View”. The monograph illustrates Varini’s idiosyncratic work, playing with perception by using surfaces to paint geometric and 3-dimensional shapes. The paint appears as discordant, even violent, lines boldly painted at random across streets and buildings, yet when perceived from one particular vantage point, the works become powerfully coherent, transcending their immediate surroundings. The works though, are not posed as puzzles intended to be solved, but works that provide vivid meaning from each and every angle, validity and significance even in chaos and subjectivity.

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These three carnets are covered with a charming French design reminiscent of the wholesome 1950s. The three designs feature floral patterns, a feather quill and an early modern motif featuring school kids arranged as if they were players on a fuseball table.

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I’ve been away a bit. I was in an accident and woke up in 1973, not knowing if I had travelled back in time, was mad, or was imaginaing all of it while in a coma. But i’m back now, and i’ve taken this fantastic little journal home with me, a relic from life on mars. The Formata Star Notebook is subtitled with the words “Lined Notebook Germany”. Presumably because Germany is synonymous with neatness, order, rules, regulations, rows, lines. The kind of country that will drill a bit of discipline into unruly kids from Guadalajara. For us in the anglosphere, however, the journal appeals more for its kitsch, retro verve – the kind of louche, incongruous style the hipsters ache for. Boldly designed, it’s a Bowie song about the Berlin Wall, or a disco tune for Chairman Mao, or a Kraftwerk piece about the Zapatistas down in Chiapas.

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Visionaire’s latest limited edition issue features a decorative set of 50 russian dolls designed by such luminaries as Kurt Vonnegut, Rita Ackerman, R. Crumb and Chino Aoshima. The collection is released at an initial price of $175 but as the stocks dwindle the sale price rises, so these toys represent a fantastic investment as well as an irreverent snapshot of our times.

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This limited-edition monograph of sorts was released to accompany Cerith Wyn Evans’ ICA installation a few months back. It takes the form of a clear plastic flip album inserted with photographs Evans’ took on a recent trip to Japan. The photos often employ displacement or elision, scenes seem to be cut in half, sun glare distorts the colours and pictures are taken at unorthodox angles and viewpoints. The incongruoux mix of chaotic urbanity and serene nature also provides jolts of discomfort as one flicks through the photos. The individuality of the images then, seems enhanced – rather than an objective record logically filed, the photographs are uniquely peculiar visions that express a singular subjectivity. In looking through this piece we use Evans’ eyes to look, and rather than fixing upon the objective world we are alienated by it. Instead, we are forced to focus not on what we see but the ways in which we see. The albums are signed and numbered by Evans on the backsheet.

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This monograph records Gallery Yujiro’s inaugural exhibition of last year. The exhibition, entitled “The Universe in a Handkerchief”, featured contemporary photography, mixed media pieces as well as digital sound sculpture. The intent of the show was to explore the humour and meaning inherent in whimsical moments of existence, in the patterns created by subconcious & idiosyncratic behavourial traits. The title of the show comes from an apocryphal collection of Lewis Carrol’s juvenilia and other, marginal, fragmented work. Comes with a reflective essay by show curator Anthony Spira.

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The Art-o-Mat Books are 200 unique flip books showcasing art from members of to the AIC (Artists in Cellophane) organisation. Each book is unique and includes 18 different and original artworks from artists such as Christian Pietrapiana, Guy Boutin and Nell Whitlock.

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These photo albums are wrapped in a soft fabric for a look halfway between a wallet and a moleskin journal. Suitably, these albums are small enough to carry around with you in your pocket or bag. They all come from Stacyhandmade, a designer/artisan who also makes wonderful, felt covered coptic journals in the style of the ancient Ethiopians or Egyptians, filled with smooth, sturdy handmade paper. The photo albums come in a range of covers, all possessing a stylish verve with fresh, pronounced colours.

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British publisher Penguin have released a line of classic books with blank covers so that you can design your own front-page. You can send in your cover and Penguin will display the best submissions on their website and on flickr.

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Craig Atkinson’s limited edition run of sketch books is just about sold out at Cafe Royal bookstore near Liverpool, but there are still a few of these one-of-a-kind books available. Each book is a unique record of sketches focusing on the household, featuring TVs, Polaroid cameras, garages, games consoles amongst other things. The paraphenalia of domesticity is lovingly rendered, yet tinged with a comical irony that subtly distorts and estranges familiar objects. The detailing on the electrical appliances for instance, dates the items as slightly retro in our streamlined age, and due to the fine relief of graphite these details stand out vividly. That which once made an item cutting edge now historices not only the item but our relationship with it.

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Cycles is a collection of war photographs taken by Finnish photo-journalist Ilkka Uimonen. The photos cover the Palestinian intifada and illuminate the Jungian idea that conflict can never be resolved so long as emotion displaces reason. While the pictures are stark, there is also a strong visual element showing this cyclical movement, the repetition of scenes, the repulsion from violence and headlong rush into it. In Cycles, this movement seems as natural and as blind as the sombre movement of wind through curtains.

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Viktor Shklovsky said the purpose of art was to “make the stone stony” while Carlos Williams urged that poetry “reconcile the people with the stones”. Myung-Ok Han, a Korean artist working in Paris, uses the energy of the rock in her art, her stones arranged as deliberately as a stone circle or Gaelic burial site.

Now a major retrospective of her work is available as a monograph entitled ‘Myung-Ok Han or The Objectification of a Poetics’, with an analytic accompanying text by AndrĂ© Depraz.

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This book by seminal Japanese photographer Narahara is presently on sale at Galerie 213 in Paris. The publication records an historic time in Japan, as the country found itself inbetween a discredited Imperialism and the corporate tiger that would follow. As a relatively early work, Narahara’s obsession with European avant-garde photography is obvious, while a nascent interest in marginal communities is also visible, with both the disenfranchised and the cutting edge of Tokyo society recorded.

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This may be the most important book you’ll ever read! I mean write! It’s a journal of handsome proportions and professional binding with a classical French cover design. If you’ve ever wandered past the bouquinistes in Paris you’ll know what i mean by French cover design, all french books look the same – sporting that cool, spartan, understated look. It was an idea of my Girlfriend’s to start a publishing house of books with this Francophone look, at least now she will be able to produce one book in that vein…

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Swedish artist Lars Arrhenius London A-Z is on sale at BookArtBookShop in Shoreditch at the moment. Arrhenius’ work is a reproduced London A-Z map superimposed with illustrations of fictional characters going about their business in a non-linear visual narrative. The interrogative index at the rear of the book provided by Geoff Ryman offers a further layer of interpretation when cross-referenced with the illustrations.

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David Lynch’s ‘The Air is on Fire’ Exhibition opens today at the Fondation Cartier in Paris . Part of the art show will present a number of never-seen photographic portraits of Snowmen. Lynch snapped the pics while driving round his hometown of Boise, Idaho, capturing these naive, transitory sculptures just as they were melting and decaying.

Snowmen Cover

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Su-Mei Tse, Venice Biennale winner in 2003, produces works that remind me of Blake’s line about seeing the world in a grain of sand, and not just because one of her principal video-installations was a superimposed image of Paris Roadsweepers in the Sahara. Her works often concentrate on one principal image or material or motif, but repeat this singular principal again and again as if for eternity, as if her art were some mystic meditative chant. Her ‘Air Conditioned’ monograph seems to be a rather rare piece as i can’t seem to find it in too many other places, but Strand books of New York has a copy.

Pictured below is her work Proposition de detour, a Persian rug cut into the likeness of the famous Maze in Chartres. It Displayed at the Peter Blum Chelsea Gallery.

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What I Do

Apropos Pig is a voracious truffle hunter finding the rarest, most unique and special items in the world. Things i like include Books, Artworks, Clothes, Accessories, Gifts, Furnishings and whatever else takes my fancy as i wander through the forest of goodies. Think of me as your very own personal shopper, gift finder and trend setter. Check back for my daily recommendations.

Piglets in the Sty

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