I like to say that during winter I wear lots of colors, they all just happen to be either blues or greens. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a pretty poor joke, but the real joke is the fact that last week I actually contemplated buying yet another olive green jacket to add to my current collection of at least six. While the summer sun essentially acts as an excuse to wear whatever colors combinations you can imagine no matter how distasteful, winter has the opposite effect, driving us all to pare down our wardrobes. As I’ve talked about before, I view how we dress as a reflection of our surroundings, and whether that’s a conscious decision or not, to me it becomes all the more apparent in the cold. With the flower beds all but shriveled up entirely, naked trees abound, and sidewalks littered by dead leaves, it feels only natural that we settle into this pattern of fewer, cooler tones.
A couple years ago, while I was down in the D.C. area on a break from school, I stopped into the Smithsonian to check out a Norman Rockwell exhibit that was put together using pieces donated by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, both of whom are avid collectors of Rockwell’s work. The concept behind the exhibit itself was fascinating, as two modern American cinematic storytellers humbly paid homage to a painter who’s artistic style had greatly impacted their own creative endeavors.
Earlier this week, when I spoke with Kevin about Fuck Yeah Menswear, the notion of books as permanent works came up quite a few times and I was reminded of this video that I found a few weeks back while I was working on my post about Andy Spade. In the video Spade gives a tour of his home in the Hamptons, which includes pieces from an art installation that he did about a decade ago titled, “An Argument for Looking at Books Instead of Reading Them.” For the series Spade interpreted book covers as art, framing the covers and displaying them at Colette in Paris. The internet, for better or for worse does have this sort of throwaway quality to it, which I suppose is why Spade’s work struck a chord in me, as it highlighted the physicality of books themselves. In a way books are the opposition to the transitory nature of the internet, and as I write this from the library of my parent’s house, I like Spade, am drawn to the aesthetics of books. The layout, the graphics, the very look of every page, and particularly the cover, is considered with much greater weight than what we’re used to dealing with on the internet. Spade’s project worked as a different way of reading books that brought all these elements to the foreground So, I decided to do my own take on his idea, with a collection of book covers from my parent’s library, spanning across genres and decades, as a reinterpretation of the book’s that have surrounded me for most of my life.