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Oct 29, 2010
In 1999, just a few months before the turn of the century (and after more than fifteen years in development), Benedikt Taschen published what is today widely regarded as the most famous and influential art book of our generation, Helmut Newton's SUMO. To call SUMO a colossal endeavor would be a massive understatement. With over 450 pages of photographs printed on huge 20 x 27.5 inch pages, the original edition not only weighed more than 65 pounds, but came with a table custom designed by Philippe Starck. Neither the publishing industry nor the art world had ever seen anything like it before.
As the founder of the art book publishing house TASCHEN, Benedikt Taschen is today one of the most important figures in the art world. As he demonstrated with SUMO, and then reconfirmed with groundbreaking books by Jeff Koons, Peter Beard, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and many others, TASCHEN's coffee table books are truly works of art in their own right. They showcase and celebrate the work of artists and photographers in ways that can't be replicated, nor matched, in the gallery or museum setting. Seeing an art work in a large-format TASCHEN book is often a better experience than seeing the original work in real life. Yes, the books are that good.
We recently had the pleasure of working closely with Benedikt Taschen on the creation of our first book TRESPASS: A HISTORY OF UNCOMMISSIONED URBAN ART, which came out earlier this month. What we learned in the process of putting TRESPASS together was that Benedikt is indeed a true collaborator with the artists themselves in every sense of the word. Benedikt's hand can be seen in every book, as he personally approves every single page. This winter TASCHEN is releasing a collection of extraordinary new works that include Steve Schapiro's new book of photographs from the acclaimed film Taxi Driver, as well as Shigeru Ban's Complete Works, 1985-2010, Art Edition.
Through his unwavering commitment to print, Benedikt Taschen has allowed artists to reach global audiences with their work. It is because of this that we are proud to call Benedikt Taschen Character Approved.