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Meet Benedikt Taschen

February 4, 2011 |  7:43 am

The Wall Street Journal visits with visionary publisher Benedikt Taschen in his John Lautner-designed house in the hills of Hollywood. Most books, Taschen tells the paper, "are disposable from the beginning." Not his.

Mr. Taschen started out selling comic books when he was in his teens, with his first store called Taschen Comics. Then there was a chance encounter in 1984 with 40,000 remainder copies of a book on Magritte; he bought them for a pittance, sold them for double and began his career publishing his own books with the money made. Today, the company publishes about 100 titles per year.

Mr. Taschen admits he puts too much love and attention into his creations to ever go into the orbit of mass publishing, adding that he wants to make collectibles, not disposables.

One of Taschen's five retail stores, packed wall-to-wall with his signature art and photography books, is in Beverly Hills. In 2010, the recent Taschen publication "Los Angeles: Portrait of a City" won the Southern California Independent Booksellers Award for art and architecture book. Read the complete article about Benedikt Taschen here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Publisher Benedikt Taschen, right, with Hugh Hefner at Hefner's 2009 book signing. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times