Martín Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art by Víctor M. Espinosa My rating: 5 of 5 stars Victor Espinosa’s long-awaited study of Martin Ramirez — for most of his life an unknown inmate of an obscure California asylum but now an art-world star — joins the 5 or 10 most important books yet published on […]
Camilo Jose Vergara brings a fine photographic eye, a sociologist’s curiosity and expertise, and tremendous commitment to his explorations of cities, their decay and their resilience. This study of Harlem is most enlightening.
Yokai Museum: The Art of Japanese Supernatural Beings from Yumoto Koichi Collection is a compendium of Japanese demons and ghosts as visualized over 300 or so years up through the mid-20th Century. That cut-off period is important to those of us who love Japanese science fiction, especially the crazy monsters spawned by shows like Ultraman […]
A good follow-up to Home-Made Russia, with more make-do creations that often demonstrate artistic talent if not intent. Plus, the interviews with the creators (or occasionally their relatives) are entertaining in themselves. I’d love to know how Vladimir Arkhipov finds these people and their vernacular things.
Martin Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art, by Victor M. Espinosa. University of Texas Press, Austin, 388 pages, 24 color photos and 54 b/w, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4773-0775-5. Hard cover, $40 Victor Espinosa’s long-awaited study of Martin Ramirez — for most of his life an unknown inmate of an obscure California asylum but now an art-world […]
Envisioning Howard Finster: The Religion and Art of a Stranger from Another World, by Norman J. Girardot, University of California Press, 304 pages, 16 color plates and 20 b/w illustrations, 2015. ISBN 978-0520261105. Paperback, $29.95 The prolific southern visionary Howard Finster was something of an enigma. How much of his colorful output was a matter […]
If Walker Evans’ famous Depression-era pictures for the Farm Security Administration long overshadowed his other work, his magazine career has been the most obscured of all. Employment at Henry Luce’s Fortune can easily seem at odds with his very individual vision and his social consciousness. But David Campany makes an effective case for elevating the […]
This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” books, or more accurately, “I kind of thought of that but never got around to doing it” books. Doug Rickard travels the country via Google Street View and creates a virtual street photography from the massive library of automatically generated images. Rickard gravitates to […]
Jack Fuller is a member of that unlucky generation of journalists who were in charge when the online flood started to swamp the newspaper industry. Contrary to some popular cliches, Fuller and many of his colleagues were well aware of the challenges posed by the Internet and tried very hard to turn them into opportunities. […]