curiosities & diversity 02102020
By Eric Shanes
POD ISBN:  9781646995325
215.9 x 270 mm – 200 pages

This book offers a radically new perspective on the so-called ‘Pop Art’ creative dynamic that has been around since the 1950s. It does so by enhancing the term ‘Pop Art’, which has always been recognised as a misnomer, for it obscures far more than it clarifies. Instead, the book connects all the art in question to mass-culture, which has always provided its core inspiration. Above all, the book suggests that this mass-culture art created a new modernist tradition that is still flourishing. The book traces that tradition through the forty or more years since Pop/Mass-Culture Art first came into being in the 1950s, and places it in a larger historical context. Naturally, the book discusses the major contributors to the Pop/Mass-Culture Art tradition from the beginning of the movement to the present. It includes a number of artists who have never previously been connected with so-called ‘Pop Art’ but have always been primarily interested in mass-culture, and who are therefore partially or totally connected with Pop/Mass-Culture Art.

The book discusses in detail over 100 colour reproductions of the key works of the Pop/Mass-Culture Art tradition. Often this involves the close reading of images whose meaning has largely escaped understanding previously. The result is a book that qualitatively is fully on a level with Eric Shanes’s other best-selling and award-winning works.

By Elizabeth Miller
POD ISBN:  9781646991365
215.9 x 270 mm – 224 pages

Transylvanian mystique and legendary hauntedness surround the most infamous Bram Stoker’s protagonists, forming a legacy that allows the myth to continue into modern times, maintaining a cultish following, yet broadening to a general fascination. Intrigued by evil and gore, Stoker developed a literary presence that was effortlessly translated to screen by the likes of Murnau, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee and Francis Ford Coppola. Dracula became such an obsession as it embodied a taboo subject matter: the desire for blood and sex.

Filled with extraordinary pictures of the Count, his literary companions, and the movie idols, this is a treasure only to be read by daylight!

By Margo Thompson
POD ISBN:  9781646995783
215.9 x 270 mm – 200 pages

The first appearances of graffiti “tags” (signatures) on New York City subway trains in the early 1970s were disregarded as incidents of vandalism or the rough, violent cries of the ignorant and impoverished. However, as the graffiti movement progressed and tags became more elaborate and ubiquitous, genuine artists emerged whose unique creativity and unconventional media captured the attention of the world.

Featuring gallery and street works by several contributors to the graffiti scene, this book offers insight into the lives of urban artists, describes their relationship with the bourgeois art world, and discusses their artistic motivation with unprecedented sensitivity.

American Realism
By Gerry Souter
POD ISBN:  9781646995790
215.9 x 270 mm – 256 pages

Realism is a monolithic, lockstep, strictly governed method of painterly visualisation shattered into nuances of interpretation. Where you paint can make you a Regional Realist. What you paint might label you a Genre Realist, while who you paint might classify your work as Portrait Realist—or maybe a Portrait Regionalist Realist if you paint Native Americans in the West, or sea captains on the East Coast. Of the variations cited, there are even further nuances that mock the concept of “American Realism” as an all-embracing style. What remains are American Realist artists, each facing subject matter that is part of the fabric of the American scene. The result of their efforts is determined by the filtering of their perceptions through their individual intellects, skill sets, training, regional influences, ethnic influences and basic nurturing.

If there is any binding together it is within the tradition of Realist Art in the United States, which accepts such a range from Winslow Homer’s poetic watercolours of the 1860s to the haunting minutiae of Andrew Wyeth and melancholy light of Edward Hopper in the 1950s and 1960s. This book presents a cross-section of American Realist artists spanning more than 100 years of art. It begins as some artists struggle with the influences of Europe and other home-grown painters bring their nineteenth-century American scenes to life, and ends as today’s generation of Realist painters co-exist with American Modernism and absorb this new freedom into the latest incarnation of their art.

By Victoria Charles
POD ISBN:  9781646995813
215.9 x 270 mm – 256 pages

Since the first funerary statues were placed in the first sepulchers, the ideas of death and the afterlife have always held a prominent place at the heart of the art world. An unlimited source of inspiration where artists can search for the expression of the infinite, death remains the object of numerous rich illustrations, as various as they are mysterious.

The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the forever sleeping statues on medieval tombs, and the Romantic and Symbolist movements of the 19th century are all evidence of the incessant interest that fuels the creation of artworks featuring themes of death and what lies beyond it. In this work, Victoria Charles analyses how art has become, through the centuries, the mirror of these interrogations linked to the hereafter.

By Arturo Graf
POD ISBN:  9781646995806
215.9 x 270 mm – 256 pages

“The Devil holds the strings which move us!” (Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil, 1857). Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer… the Devil has many names and faces, all of which have always served artists as a source of inspiration. Often commissioned by religious leaders as images of fear or veneration, depending on the society, representations of the underworld served to instruct believers and lead them along the path of righteousness.

For other artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch, they provided a means of denouncing the moral decrepitude of one’s contemporaries. In the same way, literature dealing with the Devil has long offered inspiration to artists wishing to exorcise evil through images, especially the works of Dante and Goethe. In the 19th century, romanticism, attracted by the mysterious and expressive potential of the theme, continued to glorify the malevolent. Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, the monumental, tormented work of a lifetime, perfectly illustrates this passion for evil, but also reveals the reason for this fascination. Indeed, what could be more captivating for a man than to test his mastery by evoking the beauty of the ugly and the diabolic?

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