5 Books Every Artist Needs for Their Coffee Table

5 Books Every Artist Needs for Their Coffee Table

There is nothing quite like the pleasure of getting lost in a gripping book; it can consume you – making it difficult to put down.

But with a sea of books out there, how does a reader pick and choose? From photoblogs to autobiographies, these iconic books are must-haves to add to your coffee table. 

1. Humans of New York: Stories

What happens when New York-based photographer, Brandon Stanton, decides to not let life, or people, pass him by? He creates what he calls a "photographic census" of New York City’s community members known as “Humans of New York: Stories.”

 A compilation of five years of photos paired with captivating stories, this book creates an intimate dialogue between readers and those featured – who if not for this book – may have never been introduced.

2. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

A retrospective narrative, “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” by Andrew Bolton delves deep into the career of the late designer, McQueen.

From humble beginnings starting his own label to building a world-renowned fashion house, this book reveals how McQueen challenged the fashion industry with his famous designs that touched on ideas about class, sexuality, race, religion, and the environment.

Putting fashion aside, this book holds valuable life lessons that many readers can learn from. 

3. Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama

Sometimes, living life by the book can mean writing your own rules. “Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama” demonstrates just that.

The autobiography beautifully illustrates one woman’s journey to becoming an artist in New York City during the ‘60s and ‘70s with odds stacked against her: Learning how to cope with mental illness all while dealing with racism and sexism in the art world.

Despite it all, Kusama came out on top. As of 2018, she is one of the top-selling female artists in the world.

4. The Art of the Erotic

In the book “The Art of Erotic,” author Phaidon. Andrey V. celebrates sexuality in art rather than criticize it.

Providing insight into the evolution of human sexuality throughout history, it showcases intimate artworks by nearly 200 revolutionary artists such as Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, and Italian sculptor and painter, Michelangelo.

Representing diversity, this book can boost anyone’s self-image.

5. Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat

Indulge in some of England-based street artist Banksy’s most acclaimed imagery in “Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat.” This book features some of the mysterious artist’s most exclusive works from the late ‘90s to present day.

Offering a glimpse into the political motives of the artist who seemingly always has something to say, the visually thought-provoking images that make up this book hold much relevance to the world’s trials of today. 

You can tell a lot about a person by the books he or she reads: One’s passions, beliefs, and interests. Whatever the reason to read, one can never benefit enough from having a few books like these in arm’s reach.

Back to blog