Taschen's Big Penis Book in 3D Launches in Beverly Hills (NSFW)
This wasn't your mother's Beverly Hills. First, this writer felt compelled to visit the Beverly Hills Cheese Store, where she discussed Bollywood music production, politics and mutants with Marky Ramone, protopunk percussionist and purveyor of his own pasta sauce, before making her way to the release party of the The Big Penis Book in 3D, for which publisher Taschen had organized a party.
The most -- ahem -- visually arresting book launch in memory, drag queen entrepreneur/porn film auteur Chi Chi LaRue emceed from the upper balcony. "You're in Beverly Hills! Worlds have collided!"
Phil, a potter and nursery owner, had driven all the way from San Diego for the soiree. "I'm an old fag from way back," he chuckled. And judging by the banter, so was everyone else. Statuesque Penis Book editor Dian Hanson radiated, mobbed by the likes of Ron Jeremy, with a pile of genitalia-related gifts in front of her, as hundreds of attendees lined the walls, paying more attention to the WeHo go-go boys than the fine art titles behind them.
The nearby Fred Segal store claims the original, non-3D Big Penis Book, which came out in 2008, has already become their best-selling title ever. If disco sticks aren't your thing, don't despair: Taschen has also translated The Big Book of Breasts into 3D. Both books, originally published at $59.99, are available in 3D for $39.99, with fewer pages but extra oomph.
Jon Schnitzer's Brain Factory, the 3D outfit best known for working with Tim Burton, was responsible for the book's technology as well as the appearance at the party of Deep Roy, the versatile actor best known for portraying the Oompa-Loompas in Tim Burton's 2005 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This writer's first inclination was to ask the 4-foot-4 fellow deep and complex questions about life, but he was having too good a time.
The second floor of the Taschen space, all dark wood and glass, found folks filing onto the patio en masse for cocktails. As the night progressed, so did everyone's level of intoxication, thanks to the combo of hot, underwear-clad dancing boys, thumpy music, liquor and sexy books -- I felt compelled to worry for the safety of the $1,500 XXL editions displayed upstairs, including Steve Schapiro's on-set photos of Taxi Driver, the hypothetical release party I imagined as I left.