Colors explores the very best of more than 20 years of the influential magazine of the same name, a quarterly Italian publication “about the rest of the world.” Founded in 1991 by photographer Oliviero Toscani and art director Tibor Kalman, each issue of Colors focuses on a single topic and follows it around the world, relying on images as heavily as text to tell stories. Some have called it the magazine of the MTV generation; Kalman himself described it as “a mix of National Geographic and Life on acid.”
In keeping with the structure of its unruly subject, the book treatment of Colors approaches its subject transversely, organizing content thematically to highlight the “Tumblr ante litteram” nature of the publication. Material is grouped under headings such as “That’s Amore” (on physical and emotional love of all kinds), “Bang!” (on weapons, violence, lust and shock), “Elvis” (on fame, excess, degeneration, disguise and kitsch) and “I Want to Believe” (on faith, cult, and what we worship now).
An attempt to tell the story of Colors in its own words–and make work carried out in the past speak to the present day–this volume recombines text and images from different issues, pulled from the entire 25-year history of the magazine. With a foreword by Francesco Bonami, this volume is a fitting representation of the antic and intelligent spirit that defines the magazine.
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