Breakfast Special, 1986-89
MEDIA: Book and set of editioned collages.
A book/print project that creates a bridge between Tilson’s work on Barcelona and what follows next: Alphabet City in New York. It’s also a project that begins to look at a growing fascination - what are the small things that make cities different from each other? In this case – five cities. 5 cities, 5 breakfasts, 5 stories, 5 starts to the day. The international scene changes provide an opportunity to explore local atmosphere and detail in which typography is as vital to the descriptive effect as the imagery used. The choice of a specific typeface to reflect each city was important – and to write in the local language, which in Alphabet City meant using Polish.
Tilson uses typographic elements from newspapers, magazines, wine labels and shop fronts to suggest the visual grain of the five cities. Looking back at his work it's interesting to note that this is the first use of food/cooking as describer of place, something that becomes central to his work in the 2000s.


'Whether by intention or not, the overall effect is one of compassion, of man as vulnerable animal undertaking a passage of survival in which his highest hopes are brought down to earth by the needs which determine our everyday rituals ....Breakfast Special is first and foremost a purely visual adventure, and one which succeeds.' Cathy Courtney
ART MONTHLY, 1990


Exhibited:
2000 Typo, Ikon Gallery Birmingham, touring show.
1988 Paper, Amics, Tokyo.
1989 Electrographies, Hardware Gallery.
1988 Prints, Pomeroy Purdey Gallery.
1988 Bound Image, Milton Keynes, Spacex, Nigel Greenwood, Artsite
20 Years of British Art from the Sackner Archive, BASS Museum, Miami, Florida.
1989 British Artists Books, Arthur Anderson
1993 Work & Turn, tour
Contemporary British Artists Books, Scarborough.
Contemporary British Artists Books, Hardware Gallery.
1994 Looking at Words Reading Pictures, London.
Artists Books, The Minories, Colchester. 1995 Artists Books, the Tate Gallery, London.
1998 Artist/Author, Contemporary Artists' Books, USA touring the American Federation of Arts.

Articles:
1994 Bookworks at the Getty Feeling Free, Michael Dooley, Print Jan-Feb p67-68.
1991 Maps and Dreams, Rick Poynor, Eye no2 p22-31.
1990 Breakfast Special, Cathy Courtney, Art Monthly, no133, p24-26.

Books:
1989 Jake Tilson (monograph), text Marco Livingstone, Art Random, Japan.
'To find the true identity of a city eat breakfast in it.
Jake Tilson


Jake delivering the window display to Dillons Bookshop on Long Acre. Photographed at Seven Dials by Jennifer Lee, 1989.


Window display in Dillons Bookshop, Covent Garden; plastic eggs, curtains, globe, clock, menus, cutlery, crockery, canned food and books. 1989