Photographer, painter and writer Todd Selby (below) produced one of 2010′s most entertaining books, “The Selby Is in Your Place” (Abrams), a compilation of the “home environment” lay-outs Todd does on his popular blog, The Selby.
The book allows us the voyeuristic fun of exploring the homes and lives of some very creative people who live in a down-to-earth fashion that probably would not interest the editors of Architectual Digest, but is a true expression of their personalities and their work.
Selby takes us from the home of Australian surfer Ozzie Wright and his wife Mylee Fitzgerald to the funky Los Angeles house of musician Guy Blakeslee and his artist partner Maximilla Lukacs.
The photographs and the spaces are very beautiful but not in the sense of being elaborately designed. Most of the rooms are filled with objects that are important to the people who live there — in the majority of cases the “art” on the walls consists of collages of photos, paintings and thrift shop finds that give us much more to look at than we would see in the rather sterile interior photography in glossy magazines.
Many of the subjects are friends of Selby’s who clearly trust that his photos will bring out the best in spaces that are sometimes very cluttered (none of the rooms look like they were gone over by a cleaning crew before Selby shot his pictures — they all appear to be comfortably lived in).
Selby asks each of his subjects to fill out a questionaire that includes requests for them to draw some of the answers. The author also includes his own charming sketches of the people whose spaces he invaded.
“The Selby Is in Your Place” humanizes everyone Selby shoots, including the often frosty German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld whose rooms on view here are filled almost from top to bottom with the books he loves. It’s the sort of wonderful clutter that any book lover will appreciate (and understand). My only question for Karl would be the same one I often ask myself — How do you find the books you need in what appears to be a jumble?
One of the most interesting sections in the book is devoted to former model Nicolas Malleville and his gorgeous partner Francesca Bonato (top) who used their earnings in New York City to build a little hotel on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
“The Selby Is in Your Place” combines travelogue, sociology, fashion, and just about every other aspect of pop culture in one of the most diverting books I’ve picked up in a very long time.
To keep up with the latest work by Todd Selby, visit www.TheSelby.com