“You took the first book and turned the volume up to 11”
My new photobook, a collaboration with a furry friend and supporter, Xavier Fox is now out and I could not be any prouder of it. Printed by MAS in Istanbul, as with my first book, At Home With The Furries. The quality, concept and execution are stunning.
At Home With Xavier Fox though is something unique, it’s really a legacy document of Xavier Fox’s life. An exploration of his passions, his drive and his hobbies.
This project started with a conversation, sometimes that’s how the best work starts, with a chat. I had met Xavier a couple of times at a Londonfurs meeting, now when I say meeting, imagine a pub filled with people having a great social. A third or so of the group take off halfway through and dress up as foxes, wolves, dragons, cabbits ( not a typo, a combo of a rabbit and cat) and run around having fun, lots of hugging goes on.
Xavier supported At Home With The Furries by buying a number of copies and then in 2019 attended my book launch at The Photobook Cafe in suit, which went really well.
Sometime later we were having that chat where he let on his passion for cars, particularly late 1990s Japanese super cars, essentially high powered saloons such as the Nissan GT-R and Mitsubishi EVO. I asked innocently how many cars do you own thinking one for day to day and one for best?
“53” was his answer. My jaw must have hit the floor. “I’m sorry what”
For a fox, he must have looked slightly sheepish, which is quite a trick. “Well not all the time” he went on, “sometimes it goes down, although lately it’s been going up. I’m running out of space, to be honest”
“And they’re not all Japanese either, I own two Cosworths, oh and a tank, or maybe two tanks as well, if you include the APC”
My work as a photographer looks at how our vocations and hobbies help to reveal who we really are, I was fascinated and had to know more.
As a kid growing up in the 1980s, I had The Observer book of cars, descriptions of the Ferrari GTO, the Testarossa, the F40 and the Lamborghini Countach, I loved it. 0-60 in 4 seconds, 5 seconds. Even the Lada, although did that car ever reach 60, I doubt it.
I proposed the idea of doing something special with him, perhaps a print or a book.
“I really like the idea of a book”
In late 2020 we started on the project and I worked closely with Roger Fawcett-Tang, the designer of the first book and as the work came together, it cannot help but bring a smile to your face.
This book is something really special, about cars for sure, a love of the internal combustion engine, these vehicles are treated like museum pieces and we wanted to play up to the idea of speed, the pursuit of going faster and faster. The book concept reflects that.
Opening the book is turning the key in the ignition and then pressing the accelerator, shifting through the gears as you turn the pages.
From the sequencing, the design, the sections, the photography, the text and the crowning glory, a specially commissioned manga comic by the award winning artist, Elena Vitagliano.
The book is available here: https://www.tombroadbent.com/booksandprints/at-home-with-xavier-fox
I’m very pleased that book buyers feel the same one with some remarkable feedback. This from Skyline from Charlotte, North Carolina. A furry and fan of the Nissan GT-R
“Brilliant work of art, glad I ordered and was able to support your work. Thanks for the post cards as well, will cherish all! Quickly took this before going to lunch, my GTR has a Fox infestation or are they lucky gremlins? LOL!”
From a patron, Richard Olivier who wrote me an email titled “Fantastic Mr Fox”
“At Home with Xavier Fox” duly arrived yesterday. Absolutely terrific, well done!
Beautifully shot and put together (that cover!), full of gentle humour together with the lovely interview and insight into all things Xavier Fox. He’s clearly a remarkable character – love his all-in enthusiasm and creativity.
As for the car collection – wow! My favourite? And deserving of a much higher “cool factor” rating, IMHO? The 1965 Lotus-Cortina. Bleeding’ gorgeous! I love the Japanese high-performance cars and the McLarens are undoubtedly extraordinary feats of advanced engineering brilliance but the simple pleasures of a “hot” mid-sixties family saloon ticks all the boxes for me. I had a 1970 Volvo Amazon for a few years – great fun with old skool loveliness!
I don’t buy a lot of photographic books these days – I have a fairly big, wide-ranging collection, many of which I’d happily get rid of – but your two books are absolute keepers. Love them!”
London book launch on Thursday May 5th
This coming Thursday I’ll be joined by Xavier Fox and his furry friends as we officially launch the new book together. They’ll be an opportunity to get At Home With Xavier Fox co-signed by me and Xavier.
It’s at the Photobook Cafe in Shoreditch.
It’s on Thursday May 5th from 6-9pm
You can RSVP here
Be great to see you there
You can support me on Patreon as I develop my new project on mermaids and memory called Hope of the Water Spirits, here https://www.patreon.com/broadbentius
Finally, you can sign up to my email newsletter for all the latest book and project news, here https://broadbentius.com/contact-tom/