Design lovers all over the world were saddened by the passing of Maya Romanoff a couple weeks ago (Crain’s did a nice obituary). Now, for a great way to keep this special man’s memory alive: a gorgeous, soon-to-be-released biography from the small Chicago-based art book publisher CityFiles Press.
In a scrapbook style, with photos of the man, his work, and his notes, Multifarious: Maya Romanoff’s Grand Canvas, tells the story of this unique designer, whose given name was Richard but who preferred to be called Multifarious Maya (a nickname given to him by an Indian guru during one of his trips overseas).
Romanoff parlayed an interest in tie-dyeing fabric in the 1960s into a line of vividly colored and tactile luxury wallpapers that are still handmade in Skokie today (Fast Company dubbed him “the man who made tie-dye hip for non-hippies”).
In a YouTube video posted earlier this week, publishers Richard Cahan and Michael Williams describe the process of creating their beautiful book: “We’re used to seeing his work on walls from a great distance,” says Williams. “So we’ve made images that draw you in very close, so you can see the textures. You can see how delicate this work is. Within these sheets of wallpaper, there are small worlds.”
Fittingly, each book is wrapped in Maya Romanoff wallpaper. Available February 4 on Amazon.