There’s something indescribably appealing about collections of old books and magazines, as these photographs by Mark Vessey prove…
Vessey photographs old publications piled into stacks or set in order as if on an imaginary shelf. Images of this kind are not especially original (Google ‘photographs of piles of magazines’ and you’ll see what I mean), but Vessey’s choices of subject, plus the careful way he places the objects (these are no casually slung piles) gives his photographs an unusual, special touch.
His most recent work features a complete set of William Shakespeare’s plays (crop shown above, full image below). The titles are mismatching, from a range of publishers, and extremely well-thumbed, evoking memories of school and the forced enjoyment of the Bard.
Other works show collections of Penguin books, and old copies of style mags The Face, Vogue and Pop. For both The Face and Vogue, it’s surprising to see how minimalist the spines are on these influential titles, while in the Pop image, it’s a bit of a shock to see such little uniformity.
While Vessey’s work appears to capture a moment in time, when print ruled, for him it’s also about the order that comes through collecting.”My work is about trying to establish a sense of order,” he says on his website. “There is comfort in collecting things, studying things that people take for granted, grouping everyday objects in such a way that they become something special, seeing how they fit together to become a thing of great beauty.”
More of Vessey’s work can be viewed online at markvessey.com.