Sunday, January 04, 2009

On the Bookshelf - Art Reads for January, 2009

I am a book junkie. As much as I consume (free) digital content, there's nothing that beats the feel of print. And, every year, around this time, my library grows a bit larger. Because, finally, I get to relish all those awesome reads discovered during the year.. the ones I put aside, and said "maybe for Christmas.."

Here's just a few I recently picked up:

Short biographies written about contemporary artists, including Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman, John Currin, and others. I'm in the middle of Julian Schnabel's now, and the biography on Damien Hirst gave me a newfound respect for his work. I really didn't like him before (I don't care much for sensationalistic art, "shock" art), but his interest in time and mortality is not that much different from my own. Easy to read book, and very engaging.

Yesterday, I got lucky and found this at a used bookstore. Phil Hale is one of my favorite painters / illustrators, and I couldn't pass it up (especially not at $6). Gritty, dramatic, monochromatic, surrealistic, Phil is one of a few artists that has continued to inspire me again and again. And, at 6 x 6 inches, "Sparrow" is small and light enough that I can carry him around with me when I leave the studio.

Books by Taschen are usually pretty cheap (under $20 for a hard backed book with good artwork), and I picked this up yesterday when I got "Sparrow". Lately, I've been wanting to delve back into photography, try new things, and this has a variety of interesting fine art photos. Some are quite textural, having been post processed in the dark room, and others are pretty straight forward. Features 254 photos by 203 artists (including Chuck Close and Cay Lang, author of Taking the Leap).

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