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Regulars / Bookshelf

“The great thing about this book is you don’t have to read it”: sculptor Wilfrid Wood on his favourite books

London-based sculptor Wilfrid Wood has become known for his charismatic and quirky 3D portraits that realise his subjects in a humorous and characterful way. Wilfred trained in graphics at Central St Martins before a friend got him a job building latex heads for British satirical TV programme, Spitting Image. From there, he went freelance and his sculptures have since been exhibited all over the world.

Wilfrid was a speaker at Here 2016 and last summer It’s Nice That commissioned his talent for manipulating famous faces to tell an alternate story of the Olympic Games in Rio, picking out the most notable characters from the event. Here, Wilfrid whittles down his diverse bookshelf to just five picks and what a selection they are. From an advice book you don’t have to read, to a book of William Eggleston’s work that includes a wild story about an evening with the photographer himself, Wilfrid’s bookshelf is as colourful as his work.

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Edwin Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink, 1972

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Edwin Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink, 1972

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Edwin Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink, 1972

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Edwin Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink, 1972

Edwin Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink, 1972

“Cool” is a much overused word, but I can’t think of anything better to describe this cover. 

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Elte Shuppan: Pose File

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Elte Shuppan: Pose File

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Elte Shuppan: Pose File

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Elte Shuppan: Pose File

Elte Shuppan: Pose File

What started off for me as adolescent porn turned into an incredibly useful reference book for someone that sculpts a lot of figures.

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William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

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William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

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William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

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William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

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William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest, 1989

20 years ago I was on a USA road trip with my girlfriend where we ended up in Memphis staying the night with the photographer William Eggleston. It was one of the strangest evenings of my life.

We all got extremely drunk and then William started playing the piano and showed us his guns. We slept in a stinking tip of a spare bedroom. In the morning his wife burst into our room clutching a glass of whiskey and a cigarette and chucked us out. 

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Dr Heinrich Hoffmann: Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter), 1845

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Dr Heinrich Hoffmann: Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter), 1845

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Dr Heinrich Hoffmann: Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter), 1845

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Dr Heinrich Hoffmann: Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter), 1845

Dr Heinrich Hoffmann: Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter), 1845

The classic German children’s book full of awful warnings. The images in the book are seared onto the inside of my skull, especially the boy who sucks his thumbs until they are sliced off. “The door flew open, in he ran, the great, long, red-legg’d scissor man.”

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Susan Jeffers: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, 1987

Susan Jeffers: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, 1987

The great thing about this book is you don’t have to read it, I certainly haven’t, I bet it’s awful. Just do what the title says.