Throughout most of my childhood one of my favorite books was a hard-covered copy of The Adventures of Tintin that occupied prime real estate on my bookshelf. And yet, if you asked me today what that story was about I wouldn’t even be able to begin to to you. My dad had brought that book back from one of his trips to France and so with my level of French comprehension in the negatives, I was left to merely flip through the colorful pages and try my damnedest to figure out what was going on. After a few years, and many more business trips, I amassed more Tintin memorabilia, collecting little trinkets here and there, and it wasn’t long before I became fascinated with Tintin’s world without ever actually knowing what stories those pages actually held.
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.