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August 11, 2007
John Wilcock - August 11, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 


August 11 , 2007

THE WORLD’S BEST-KNOWN SEX star, Vanessa del Rio, proudly possesses the world’s most famous mouth, according to her friend Dian Hansen, “ (It is)cut wide and deep to accommodate her legendary appetite for all things oral. And I mean all: what comes out is just as astonishing as what goes in”.

      As if to confirm this, the self-proclaimed ”slutty” sex star herself declares rhetorically: “Why does everyone deny being a slut? Why is it acceptable for a woman to have sex for money and not acceptable to do it because she loves it, or for money and because she loves it? I will never deny I love sex. Are they going to crucify me when they read this book because I’m proud to be a slut? We have to make people understand how society has all this backwards!’

    The just-published book to which she refers, is Taschen’s $400 pictorial biography of the former porn star, who calls herself “the biggest friggin feminist there is! I believe in the freedom to do whatever the fuck you want, especially sexually”. Assisted by eight men when making The Devil in Miss Jones 3, she was subsequently awarded the title for Best Group Grope of 1986.

     Dian Hanson, whose books have included a six-volume history of men’s magazines and The Big Book of Breasts, describes Vanessa as “profoundly female (but) not girlish…. She can even laugh about growing up lonely and the chances of a slut aging gracefully, because at 54 she’s alive and thriving”.

     To which, Vanessa adds: “If you’re going to live out your life as the archetypical slut/whore—such lovely words—then you just go with it. Besides, most men are terrified of such a woman so I suppose I was in control”.

     Anyone unfamiliar with the oeuvre of the international publishing company Taschen, which prices its books in dollars, pounds, euros and yen, might prematurely adjudge it to be a sex publisher. And, it’s true that its books include The New Erotic Photography (the libidinous work of 82 kinky shutterbugs) and the “dozens of fun-loving exhibitionists” who shamelessly display their beavers and asses for girlie photographer Richard Kern.  But photography of all kinds is Taschen’s central core and fabulous photographs are what embellishes its amazing catalog which feature most of the hundreds of books they have published since 1980.

     Glamorous city travel guides, pop culture summaries through different decades, examinations of countries and continents (Inside Asia…Africa…Japan…Mexico…Bali), fashion and design icons, American advertising, the Polynesian Tiki craze, the history of movies and its stars—all are documented with incomparable style and flair. And what we’re describing is this free, bi-annual and very pictorial catalog, which on its own towers head and shoulders above most monthly magazines.

      The subject of movies sustains a considerable backlist of titles from a study of “France’s most important filmmaker”, Jean Renoir. through eight volumes discussing films from the 1920s to the 1990s and single titles about such movie icons  as Bergman, Bogart, the Hepburns, Eastwood and McQueen.

    But it is in the categories of architecture and art where Taschen reigns supreme. Nominating Tadao Ando as the world’s greatest living architect they quote one critic as saying he is the man “responsible for making concrete sexy again”. That book was already on the backlist, however.

   What is new is the 536-page volume ($125) about the fashionable Santiago Calatrava, currently at work on the new transportation hub for Manhattan’s Ground Zero site as well as what will be the country’s tallest building, the 160-story Chicago Spire Tower. Calatrava admits to being initially influenced by Le Corbusier and then studying civil engineering-- learning to draw and think like an engineer. “I was fascinated by the concept of gravity and resolute in feeling that it was necessary to work with simple forms. With the proper combination of force and mass, you can create emotion”.

    Taschen has almost 100 books, in a score of languages, about artists from the classic Raphael, Rousseau, Titan, Bruegel and Bosch to Picasso, Klein, Duschamp and Warhol. “(Diego) Rivera was no passive spectator of the times in which he lived” says the introduction to Rivera; The Complete Murals. “The theory of muralism was that revolutionary art should help awaken the people’s political awareness and incite them to action”. The catalog devotes eight picture-filled pages to the book ($200) which details the saga of the artist who “gave a new dimension to the history of Mexico”.

     The lead piece in the current catalog is by Interview honcho Ingrid Sischy, one of the editors of the hulking monograph containing the entire works of Jeff Koons, described as “the post-Pop superstar”. To describe Koons as controversial is an understatement (the book, however, sells for $1,000), his reputation in some art circles being of a man who solicits backers to hire flocks of assistants turning out works of utter banality. Many may also remember the artist’s short-lived marriage to an Italian porn star,  the insipid “artworks” the pair produced together and the tabloid headlines which accompanied the divorce. Koons himself observes: “I think we live in a great time. “It’s about gesture; the medium is not the message, the message is in the gesture”. Whatever that means.  

    The order form in Taschen’s dazzling inventory has a space marked I would like to order all new Taschen titles. That would cost, let’s see, about $3,400. Surely worth it to anybody with the spare cash and enough coffee tables.

                          John Wilcock is currently visiting Mexico

08/04/07

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