Artist Helmut Newton has made a lot of books but stated that, when it comes to publishers, Benedikt Taschen is of a different breed. “Publishers are not all like him. There are very few like him. Or there are none like him,” Newton once told Vanity Fair. “He is also, I might add, a madman”—a madman who has a large collection of erotic art and lives in Jon Lautner’s 1960s “Chemosphere” in Los Angeles. But perhaps it takes a madman to completely shake up the world of art publishing the way that Taschen has, producing books that are huge, colorful, and often bizarre in their subject matter. His art collection is just as huge, colorful, and bizarre, though perhaps less affordable than the books he markets to the masses. It includes works by artists like Tom of Finland, Albert Oehlen, Jeff Koons, and Martin Kippenberger—most of whom are of Taschen’s own generation and count as personal friends.
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