Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine My rating: 5 of 5 stars I came of age around the same time as Viv Albertine and I was drawn to punk, so this memoir was bound to resonate for me. Much as I appreciated punk’s exasperation with the state of both […]
“John Baeder’s Road Well Taken,” by Jay Williams, Vendome Press, 272 pages, 300 color and b&w illustrations, 2015. 978-0865653191. Hard cover $45 John Baeder is legendary among roadside architecture enthusiasts for Diners,” his book of photorealistic diner paintings that turned out to be one of the most culturally influential publications of the 1970s. Baeder, the […]
Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher My rating: 5 of 5 stars Interesting letters, most by notable people, through the centuries, well presented. What’s not to like? View all my reviews
An important book about an important artist. I confess I’m biased, since I collected Sue Williams’ art early in her career. But that art’s development, in its formal variety and conceptual complexity, has demonstrated a deepening of her talent and intelligence. This book is thoroughly illustrated, of course, and the essayists do a creditable job […]
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 […]