Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Publishing businesses as art forms and objects of affection...

My friends know that I love books... and I am currently delving deeper into the publishing business through various initiatives, both personal and professional. When I think of the books that inspire the strongest feelings within me, many of them form visions of words in my recollection, featuring the names of authors and the tales they have woven into print. But I have another favorite type of publication, where my thoughts are overwhelmed by captivating images... the fascinating world of art books. Among publishers of art books, two companies form my gold standards. Having begun life by lovingly producing one exquisite edition after another, both Taschen and powerHouse Books now represent unique sources of art which can be experienced in many ways -- and unique companies that inspire real emotions within substantial groups of consumers all around the world.

If you are passionate about exquisite art books and successful publishing companies, you will also appreciate the enigmatic publisher Visionaire. Describing itself as "a multi-format album of fashion and art produced in exclusive numbered limited editions," since 1991, Visionaire has presented works by both famous and emerging artists, personalities, fashion designers, art directors and image-makers from around the world in three limited editions per year, each with its own theme and format. The most recent, Visionaire 53 Sound, consists of five 12-inch vinyl picture disc records packaged inside a dome case, and each limited edition issue (4,000 numbered copies were produced in total) includes a MINI Clubman “Vinyl Killer” Record Player -- the battery-operated toy car that's also a portable record player. As with each new edition, a festive launch party kicked off the release... this time at Art Basel Miami Beach back in December. Visit the linked sites to get on these companies' mailing lists, and check-out the Photo-Eye Booklist for updates on the newest photo books from your favorite publishers.