Coffee table books make for great gifts.
But what makes for a great coffee table book?
If you’re photographer Brooke Olimpieri, the brains and brawn behind Filthy Mouth Creative, it’s one thing: “SEX.”
“Conversation-provoking images,” she tells us. “Whatever would make your conservative friend blush.”
Olimpieri just published her first coffee table book, Lost Vegas, a glossy piece of art filled with 48 of her favorite images. It was edited by art-nude svengali Jonathan Leder, who like Olimpieri, works only in film. At first pass, some of you may deem these images highly sexual. Because they are. But if you look closer, you’ll notice great color, texture and composition — which together, suggest a story.
Eventually, it's a book not about the female body, but about sensuality, intimacy and the characters who portray it. As Leder’s introduction says: “Olimpieri is essentially a storyteller, and the best images in this photobook aren’t so much portraits as a narratives of stolen moments, atmosphere and expectation."
We chatted with Olimpieri about the book and what she’s doing this holiday season. Heads up: NSFW images ahead. Adjust your blinds accordingly.
Model: Kayslee Collins
InsideHook: How did you go about curating the images in the book?
Brooke Olimpieri: Most important was that the book felt like me, like my work, a combination of images that truly felt like me and could stand on their own. Jonathan and I both felt like a majority of the images should be from Vegas backdrops, which is, after all, my home. It’s where this all began.
IH: How long have you been working on this?
BO: About six months. I was contacted by Jonathan Leder around mid June. It was a bit surreal: Jonathan is a huge inspiration for me, his work is absolute perfection. Timeless. For him to want to work with me and publish a book of my work seemed a little farfetched. But I pinched myself and got on with the details. I wish I could say it was more of a struggle — the process of putting the book together — but to be honest, it was a breeze. Jonathan was so kind, and we really had a very similar vision as to how we saw the book. He gets me and what I do, and I respect his earned knowledge in this game.
Model: Shelby Bay
IH: What was the impetus behind doing a book?
BO: Who doesn't love a good coffee table book? I think my work is a great topic for conversation. Many of the chosen images are and will always be favorites of mine. All invoke a reference in my mind of a very specific time or feeling. All of the images are fun, sexual, liberating and interesting. I really love the book. I am so happy to have joined with Imperial Publishing and with Jonathan has shown me my own work through his eyes, it has given me a new level of enjoyment about what I do and what I've done. I am excited to create more and to hopefully work with him again on round two!
IH: How are you spending the holidays?
BO: I’m in Santa Monica. Holed up in my little apartment with my husband and my dogs. Couldn't be happier.
Alright, let's talk holiday traditions in your house then.
Egg nog or hot toddy? Neither. Always tequila.
Chestnuts by the fire or watching movies? Movies. I love fireplaces ... I just don't have one.
Holiday sweaters? Yes or no? YES!!!
Best present: jewelry or clothes (or neither)? Neither. I’d like a vintage Polaroid camera, some 600 film and a cool new coffee table book. I want Andy Warhol's Polaroid book. More importantly than all of that, I’d really like to donate a million dollars (if I had it) to animal rescues. Or even better, I’d like to buy a farm in Oregon and adopt 20-30 dogs. Give them all my love and attention and a great life. I wish all dogs were treated like mine, and loved. I wish that was all any dog ever knew.
IH: Favorite holiday tradition?
BO: Cooking in the kitchen, preparing a yummy meal to share with family and friends, and watching Christmas Vacation.