The consultancy began work on the project in October last year, having been invited to pitch by BlainSouthern, the gallery showing the work and the book publisher, on the strength of its book design for restaurant Polpo.
According to Praline, the style of the publication had to have ‘a certain classical elegance’ relevant to Collishaw’s frequent references to Old Master paintings within his work.
David Tanguy, founder and creative director of Praline, says, ‘It’s really looking back at Classical art books, so we used the traditional binding, cloth, foil and three ribbons, not just one, so that we could play with the colour palette a bit but still keep it quite dark.’
He adds, ‘We needed to show the interesting objects in the layout and the content but package it in an interesting form.’
The book features classical typefaces such as Dante, which is based on Renaissance lettering, aiming to accentuate the historical aspect of the book’s content.
Tanguy says, ‘[Collishaw’s] work looks to work the of masters, like Caravaggio, which play with the light and dark; and the idea of beauty and the repellent. Things can look pretty from far away but close up there’s something odd going on.’
The book cover shows a single image from Collishaw’s work, which Praline describes as ‘both beautiful and repellent, reflecting how Collishaw’s art is poised between the alluring and the revolting, the familiar and the shocking.’
Praline says, ‘We worked very closely with the artist to make the images have an impact and seductive power that would match the experience of viewing the works first hand.’
The book, Mat Collishaw, is published by BlainSouthern priced £38