Coffee Table Curator: Skateboards, Saint Laurent, and Song Flowers


Coffee Table Curator is a monthly series showing—no, telling—you which art and culture books to add to your living room repertoire; your remote control and beer-stained coasters will look chic by association. Here’s what we have to recommend for the month of June for when restaurants are reopening for outdoor dining but you’d rather order takeout and enjoy culture from indoors anyway. 


The Candy Book of Transversal Creativity: The Best of Candy Magazine, Allegedly, Rizzoli, $60

Being the first at something is never an easy feat—unless you’re Luis Venegas. The Spanish editor, creative director, and publisher has created no less than five magazines, including Candy: the first and only style magazine celebrating the transversal community. Since 2009, the title has released twelve colossal issues that have cast an incandescent glow of glamour and sparkle on every newsstand around the globe. Venegas and Rizzoli recently debuted The Candy Book of Transversal Creativity: The Best of Candy Magazine, Allegedly, a compendium that features some of the magazine’s most distinguished features, including subjects like Janet Mock, Dominique Jackson, Richie Shazam, Amanda Lepore, Lady Bunny, and more. 


Amalfi Coast, Assouline, $95

Plunging into the Tyrrhenian Sea is the only worthwhile modern-day cleanse—water so revitalizing you’ll lose your passport and abandon real life for permanent residency on the Amalfi. Co-authors Charlene Shorto and Carlos Souza, whose own career began when Andy Warhol tasked him to photograph fashion shows for Interview, perfectly capture the invigorating essence of the Italian coastline in their new book. Each page is like a frame out of The Talented Mr. Ripley, but with a lot less scheming and a lot more spaghetti, sweeping views, and vintage paparazzi snaps of Lee Radziwill and sister Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis living la dolce vita.


Song Flowers by Jack Davison, Loose Joints, $50

Photographer Jack Davison lulls readers into a oneiric state with Song Flowers, an album of images that unwind like a lyrical feast for the soul. Francesco Risso, Creative Director of Marni, has long been inspired by the Miao community in Southwest China and welcomed Davison to capture one of the oldest ethnic groups in the region for their collaborative edition. Inside, Davison’s photos sweep the local landscape, including images of handsome perennials, juxtaposed with jovial, affectionate portrayals of the sublime craftsmanship and patternmaking the locals are globally renowned for. 


Yves Saint Laurent : The Impossible Collection, Assouline, $895

Each edition from Assouline’s Impossible Collection comes with a pair of white gloves—an accessory fitting as readers unpack 100 priceless garments in the publisher’s recently released monograph on Yves Saint Laurent. Fronted by a technicolor Warhol silkscreen of the distinguished designer, the magenta-colored magnum opus is just as vibrant inside. From the legendary Le Smoking tuxedo to the positively iconic Mondrian dress, the book unfurls four decades of fabric crafted into some of the most influential and unparalleled works of fashion ever produced and are rightfully handled with care.


Polaroids 92-95 (NY, LA), Dashwood Books, $35

In between moving studios, artist Ari Marcopoulos stumbled upon a long-forgotten box. Inside? A treasure trove of polaroids he snapped of skate culture between 1992 and 1995. Bringing his nineties nostalgia to Dashwood Books, Marcopoulos and the publisher released two volumes of the photographs that cover the East and West Coasts. The books, featuring images taken in New York and California respectively, showcase a ceremonious ode to skateboarding. A fast and furious ride, each tome presents an intimate lens into the extreme sport: at times an adrenaline rush equivalent to an episode of Rocket Power, at others a soft depiction of skating as if it were performance art.