Boss wows with Bowie homage

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Boss Print has partnered with a leading artist on his latest David Bowie inspired project to produce a breathtaking limited edition book that was gifted a launch in an unusual venue last week.

The book was launched in a carpet shop window display
The book was launched in a carpet shop window display

The high-end printer has produced a three-book boxset for collage artist Hormazd Nariewalla’s Diamond Dolls project.

Boss previously worked with the London-based, Indian-born artist on Paper Dolls, which formed the inspiration for Nariewalla’s latest endeavor.

Diamond Dolls is a homage to David Bowie. It consists of a series of 36 Geisha style caricatures of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego made up from discarded Saville Row tailoring patterns, which regularly feature in Nariewalla’s work thanks to his background in fashion design.

The project was launched last Monday (12 July) in a window display installed by Boss Print at high-end Persian carpet specialist Essie in London’s Mayfair. The unusual venue came about following a previous tie-up on a carpet design between Nariewalla and Essie.

The display will run for four weeks at the 255 year-old carpet importer's retail base, before moving to Hackett’s flagship London store. The project is also on display at the Eagle Art Gallery in Farringdon until 7 August.

“The book really is a standout piece and unique and as such has gained a lot of interest already even before its launch,” said Boss Print managing director Fenton Smith, who also founded the book’s co-publisher Concentric Editions.

Key creative influencers including GQ editor Dylan Jones, British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, and actor Russell Tovey, who hosts the Talk Art podcast were all sent copies to promote the book.

Only 300 of the signed Diamond Dolls boxsets, which are currently available at a discounted pre-publication price of £190, are being produced.

According to Smith, the 240x165mm format books in boxset are concertina folded with each of the three ‘Acts’, or books, featuring 12 of the 36 artworks on one side and a sort of abstract ‘making of’ detailing Nariewalla’s methods on the reverse. The three books are then collectively presented in a “canvas wallet”.

When unfurled each book becomes a 1.75m long piece of art in its own right, meaning the set works as a book or artwork.

“It’s entirely up to the owner how they want to display them,” said Smith.

The artist himself, in an interview with London Live, described it as “a sculpture that closes into a book and the idea [is] that the exhibition comes to you and that’s a symptom of the pandemic.”

The book was litho printed by west London-based Boss using its own Vivid Colour process, which involves running a 10-micron stochastic dot and an expanded colour gamut. It also features embellishments such as clear iridescent foil blocking for some of the Ziggys, an iridescent foil and distressed gold on the covers.

“There are loads of things going on, not least the vibrant colours and detail from Vivid Colours,” said Smith.

“Our printing process was developed so that art, especially photography, looks as good in a book as it does on the wall of a gallery – I don’t know of anyone else that can achieve that, it’s like a Giclée print in a book.”

As well as the three books, also included in the cloth bound wallet is a hand-signed certificate printed on the business’s recently installed seven-colour HP Indigo 7900, which features a foiled edition number.

The Diamond Dolls collection is co-published by Concentric Editions and Eagle Art Gallery/EMH Arts and produced entirely in-house by Boss Print.







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