The best of 2019 (so far)
MENDO’s favorites of the year
Jack Davison: Photographs
As you might have read in our interview with him, Jack Davison is one of the most interesting photographers of today. With his refreshing use of light, shadows, depth and tension he crosses the boundaries of the medium while remaining one of a kind. This book highlights his best work so far, and it was high on nearly everyone’s list at MENDO.
Buy Jack Davison: Photographs – € 50
Dapper Dan’s Harlem
The partnership of Gucci with IDEA Books already provided us with great books from Derek Ridgers, Martin Parr and Harmony Korine. However, their collaboration with Harlem legend Dapper Dan is our absolute favorite in that series. Shot by (Amsterdam-born) photographer Ari Marcopoulos, the book caught our eye for the incredible styling and unique design, with a beautiful mix of different paper types, printing technologies, and a very sexy maroon leather cover.
Buy Dapper Dan’s Harlem – € 180
Live From F*cking Everywhere
Our second book with Adam Katz Sinding features his work outside of the fashion realm. From rural Kazbegi to inner city Copenhagen, AKS went off the beaten path to capture the most amazing architecture and landscapes in an at least equally beautiful way as he does with fashion. May be a bit self-congratulatory to put it on the list, but sometimes it’s good to be proud of your own accomplishments.
Buy Live From F*cking Everywhere – € 40
Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful
Another Aperture publication, and it’s a time-machine to a different era in America. To most of us, Brathwaite was still unknown, but thanks to this book (which is printed beautifully) we’re acquainted to some very iconic imagery. And to be honest, we couldn’t have found a more fitting title for this book.
Buy Kwame Brathwaite: Black is Beautiful – € 37.50
Sophie Green: Congregation
Sophie Green’s documentation of the Aladura churches in London were a surprise on the list. Beautiful yet humble execution, amazing photography, and a cover image that pierces right through you. For MENDO’s Joost Bastmeijer it’s his absolute favorite: “The ‘Aladura Spiritualist African’ congregations connect south-east Londoners to their Yoruba Nigerian heritage. You wouldn’t say that Green attended the services as an outsider, as the portraits are intimate and striking.”
Buy Sophie Green: Congregation – € 30
Erwin Olaf : I AM
Erwin Olaf probably is the most well known photographer in the Netherlands right now. With an awe-inspiring career spanning over forty years, Olaf’s oeuvre was impressive enough for this thick monograph book. I AM goes from the early stages of his career until his most recent work, telling the story of his fascinating personal and visual development, and is one of our best selling books of the year.
Buy Erwin Olaf : I AM – € 64.50
Coco Capitan: Busy Living
Another surprise, Coco Capitan was a photographer that was relatively unknown to most of us. This book, published by Loose Joints, combines design, photography, texts and printing in an unprecedented way. MENDO’s Roy says: “A book like this is the reason why I’m still in love with what I do every day. It seeks the boundaries of printing possibilities without ever becoming excessive, and it inspires us to go further as well.”
Buy Coco Capitan: Busy Living – €42.50
Certainly the “biggest” release that made it to our list. Taschen’s larger-than-life David Bailey Limited Edition monograph is already a classic and, as you might expect from the German publisher, extremely well executed. In a beautiful monochrome white rendition, with a bookstand with white legs, and four different cover jackets that come with it. No need to choose, you can simply switch them every once in a while.
Buy David Bailey € 2500
Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech
Probably one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Although it might feel like Abloh has just started, the pace at which he works is unmatched and provides an abundance of content for a thick monograph overview. With a witty “bookception” on the cover, it only makes us more curious about the special edition coming later this year.
Buy Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech – € 60
The Garden Chef
A timely topic, clean (and green) design, good photography, and the interesting stories behind the plants turned into plates from some of the world’ best chefs. The Garden Chef made it to our favorites list by combining all this into one quality cookbook that goes beyond the usual. Another great publication by Phaidon.
Buy The Garden Chef – € 37.50
Excuse our favoritism, but we’re very proud of this first publication from Grand Opening, a brand-new independent publisher set up by MENDO’s own Mikel and Emile. Besides this, the story of Aldo van den Broek is genuinely interesting, and that cover image of his hairy leg surely catches our eyes every time.
Buy SCHLOSSHERR – € 15
Ethan James Green: Young New York
Aperture made the list three times, and Ethan James Green’s book might be the most interesting book on the list. The young American photographer captured his beloved LGBTQ+ scene in the city that never sleeps, and the result is an elegant book that draws all the attention to his breathtaking portraits.
Buy Ethan James Green: Young New York – € 42.50
Camp: Notes on Fashion
This year’s theme at the MET-gala was camp, and unlike you might have thought it has nothing do do with tents and sleeping bags. Drawing from Susan Sontag’s seminal essay “Notes on Camp,” the book shows various campy outings within fashion from the past and today. In an excessive luxurious rendition that embodies the principles of camp in every way.
Buy Camp: Notes on Fashion – € 60
Land of the Rising Sun Japan
At the end of the day, Japan has the best quality craftsmanship and products there are. Whether in fashion, technology or furniture, the Japanese definitely know how to make it. A Japanese interior and lifestyle brand with a beautiful showroom in Amsterdam, Time and Style combined their best products in this book as a beautiful ode to Japanese craftsmanship. A refined book from a company that lives and breathes refinement.
Buy Land of the Rising Sun Japan – € 40
Dutch duo Daan Zuijderwijk and Maaike Vergouwe investigated the human inclination to structure, organize and understand the landscape around us. Making use of lasers to create different perspectives in striking black and white photographs. Mapping makes a case for patient observation in this patiently photographed and carefully assembled book, which is also available in a special edition with print.
Buy Zuijderwijk/Vergouwe: Mapping – € 40
Even though we're blessed with a great summer in 2019, Amsterdam's museums prove that it pays to spend some days inside.
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