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STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS: KIRSTEN CHEN


Kirsten Chen has worked both in the shop & behind the scenes at Book/Shop since the summer of 2016. A student at UC Berkeley, Kirsten is pursuing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with focuses on art history and industrial engineering & operations research. She's also a constant world-traveller, helping out with Book/Shop events & projects in between her intense studies, long trips & internships at places like Visionaire. Here, Kirsten shares a favorite book, along with a few other suggestions for enjoying her selection. Thanks, Kirsten!
  1. What book would you recommend?
    100: The Work that Changed British Art” by Pat Ellis.  It’s one hundred pieces of works that Charles Saatchi thinks changed the perception of British art, but they also really shaped my tastes in contemporary art when I was younger. (I encountered Hirst's shark at the Tate when I was 6 years old & it blew my mind.)  
  2. What edition would you recommend?
    The 2003 edition, published in association with the Saatchi Gallery.  The jacket has a photo of a weirder piece by Damien Hirst, but I prefer this polka-dotted pattern (which was also by him).  I’m not necessarily a huge Hirst fan, though.  If I had to choose favorites from the book, it’d be Tracey Emin and the Chapman brothers. 
  3. A place you'd recommend to read it?
    In bed!  Or really, whenever you need a break from the real world.  I love flipping through all the artwork— it kind of feels like being at an art museum.
  4. What to eat/drink while reading it?
    Maybe some sort of charcoal lemonade or another detox drink.  A lot of these pieces are pretty dirty, ha!
  5. What would recommend listening to while reading it?
    This is a pretty cool mixtape by Standing on the Corner, an up-and-coming group in New York.  It’s a little dark, but it gives a visceral representation of what it’s like to be a young person today, so it lines up with the vibe of the book in that way.