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Tag Archive "book-review"

The Goldfinch, a novel by Donna Tartt

Book review — The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

[Libby wrestles with the length of celebrated novel The Goldfinch, but ultimately concludes it's worth the read. -- the artblog editors] Forget about the eponymous Fabritius painting. The reason I tore through Donna Tartt’s bestselling, mega-sized novel The Goldfinch is the almost Dickensian tale of a boy unmoored from his family and drifting through households and locales in a surreal state of drug-and-alcohol-induced stupefaction, all the while holding on to that invaluable painting, “The Goldfinch,” packed in a pillowcase. The painting of the bird is real–a small, rare 17th-century Dutch masterpiece housed in the Mauritshuis in the Hague. In the fictional world of the book, ... More » »

Front cover - "The Unfeathered Bird" by Katrina

Ornithologist as Georgia O’Keefe

[Michael discovers a kindred spirit in an author who lovingly, painstakingly dissects and illustrates hundreds of bird species. --the artblog editors] I first saw Katrina van Grouw’s “The Unfeathered Bird” (Princeton University Press; Princeton and Oxford, 2013 ) in the window of Princeton’s only bookstore. I was surprised. After all, had I not definitively nailed the subject of unfeathered birds in my poem with that title? She was not only stealing my title, but had expanded it into a coffee table art book. Beaks, bones, and beauty Birds crash into glass windows. I was sitting, typing some essay off in ... More » »

Director of Research, Jonathon Keats, at the helm of his epigentic cloning project, AC Institute, New York in 2012. Keats is set to clone Obama, Gaga and Jesus in Berlin this month.

Letter from Berlin – Forgeries, pheromones and clones, ten questions for Jonathon Keats

Jonathon Keats has brought the cerebral into the art marketplace. Nearly 15 years ago he sat in a gallery for 24 hours looking at a nude model and selling his thoughts to art collectors. A few years later he copyrighted his mind as a sculpture. In 2004, he tried to genetically engineer God to get to the essence of the Divine.  He’s enlisted string theory to purchase real estate in other dimensions, and created a silent four-minute and thirty-three second ring tone remixing John Cage’s composition 4’33” .  And he even sold collectors the experience of spending money. Now in ... More » »

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Sleuthing your way through the art world – Reba White Williams’ mystery novel Restrike gets it right

—Michael reviews the debut mystery novel of  New York art world insider, Reba White Williams, and asks an interesting question.–the artblog editors——————————-What about a series of art world mystery novels? Restrike features amateur detectives Coleman Greene, editor of an art magazine, and her cousin Dinah Greene, director of a print gallery. The consigner of a Winslow Homer is brutally murdered. A reporter for Coleman’s magazine investigates; he too is murdered. Newly-found Durer prints are at auction. The Greenes discover they are mere restrikes. I have a restrike of a Rouault woodcut. An art dealer in Chicago purchased the original block, ... More » »

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More book reviews – Fire in the Belly, Cynthia Carr’s new biography of David Wojnarowicz

By turns energizing and sad, Cynthia Carr’s book, “Fire in the Belly: The life and times of David Wojnarowicz” mirrors the exhilarating times and tetchy personality of its subject, David Wojnarowicz. The artist was a tortured soul, gifted and amazing wordsmith and artist and zealous AIDS activist. Carr, a writer for the Village Voice who covered the experimental art of the East Village in the 70s and 80s, met Wojnarowicz in 1982 and was close to him at the end of his life (he died of AIDS in 1992 at age 37). Her book is an unabashedly sympathetic portrait of ... More » »

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Kehinde Wiley – A new book worthy of the paintings

by Mireille Guy Kehinde Wiley’s portraits of men of color, portrayed as kings, knights, or saints out of Western history paintings, juxtapose issues of race and gender with ideas of power, and ask important questions about the role of young black males today. Kehinde Wiley, the new 248-page book by Rizzoli, is a great introduction to the celebrated portrait painter. The book is filled with full-page images, an interview with Wiley, and various essays on his work and its social implications. The hard cover edition is a massive nine and a half by twelve and a half inches with gold-edged ... More » »