Ziyi’s Favorite Books

A selection of Ziyi’s favorite books…

New York Is…

New York Is… offers answers to the question: What is New York in the eyes of artists? The Flatiron Building is shape; the Empire State Building is line. Washington Square Park is joyous; Times Square is spectacle. Among the enduring illustrations are paintings by Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence, and Charles Demuth; photographs by Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Alfred Stieglitz, Garry Winogrand, and Cindy Sherman; and drawings, lithographs, and posters, all celebrating this endlessly fascinating metropolis.


I’ve got to know New York a bit over the last 10 years. This book showsit through the eyes of artists and photographers and, thanks to them, we can be inspired by it all over again.

Picasso and Francoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris, 1943-1953 Catalogue

Françoise Gilot in conversation with John Richardson; Essays by Charles Stuckey, Michael Cary, and Françoise Gilot; Excerpts from Life with Picasso by Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake.


Picasso is perennially fascinating and, in this book, the focus on his muse, Françoise Gilot, and her conversations with John Richardson, leave me spellbound.

Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s – Photographs

In his latest collection, photographer Charles H. Traub (born 1945) turns his emphatically American gaze upon the streets and byways of Italy, from Milan to Marsala. Traub’s brilliant blues, reds and yellows accent the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people. Traub’s friend and guide, the late photographer Luigi Ghirri, said of the imagery, “you see our foibles, strip us bare, make love through the camera and then venerate us.” Dolce Via is the first comprehensive collection of these vivid color photographs, which were made in Italy during the early 1980s. This publication includes contributions from American art critic, photographer and founding editor of Artforum, Max Kozloff, and the Italian poet, Luigi Ballerini.


I didn’t experience Italy in the ’80s, but Charles H Traub’s images bring the decade alive. It looks like it was a fun time, and I love the way he skillfully captures candid moments, making the book seem timeless.

Greta Garbo: The Mystery of Style

The never-before-published wardrobe of a timeless star, for lovers of fashion, photography and film history. Greta Garbo’s influence over fashion has transcended time. Her dresses, suits, impeccably-tailored coats with a slightly masculine look and the indispensable accessories (shoes, bags, glasses, foulards) has created a style emulated, imitated, even occasionally reviled, but never fully examined. For the first time a catalogue of great glamour and a travelling exhibition detail this extraordinary wardrobe whose minimalism fits so well with current fashion trends. Edited by Stefania Ricci, the Director of Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence, as the Divine Greta Garbo was a Ferragamo client from the 1920s until her death, and the founder of the Italian maison designed hundreds of original, classical, futuristic, hand-made shoes and sandals exclusively for her, most of them shown here for the first time. A stunning selection of black and white Garbo portraits by celebrated photographers completes the volume.


I’ve always been fascinated by Greta Garbo and her mystique as one of cinema’s most enigmatic screen legends. Her sartorial choices always reflected her private persona so well. I can dwell on these images of her for hours.

Peter Beard

Photographer, collector, diarist, and writer of books Peter Beard has fashioned his life into a work of art; the illustrated diaries he kept from a young age evolved into a serious career as an artist and earned him a central position in the international art world. He was painted by Francis Bacon and painted on by Salvador Dalí, he made diaries with Andy Warhol and toured with Truman Capote and the Rolling Stones—all of whom are brought to life, literally and figuratively, in his work. As a fashion photographer, he took Vogue stars like Veruschka to Africa and brought new ones—most notably Iman—back to the U.S. with him. […] In 2006 TASCHEN published the book that has come to define his oeuvre, signed by the artist and published in two volumes. It sold out instantly and became a highly sought after collector’s item. Now the book you couldn’t get your hands on is available in one volume, a handsome hardcover edition revised by Nejma Beard with new images never published before.


I love the exoticism of Peter Beard’s collages and photography, from the animals to the vanishing wilderness he portrays. His books are portable works of art, bursting with the force of life.

Source: Porter, issue n°3