10/22/10

New Weekly Feature!

In past posts I’ve mentioned my zest for buying art, books and DVDs. Since I have collected so many of them now, I have decided to feature one every week here on the blog. A “suggested read of the week” if you will.

Mind you, these will not be new releases, but they will still be in print in most cases. And they are all books I’ve read or use in my own work. Which is to say, they will be fine art, graphic art, design, or photography related; however, I may throw in a history book for good measure.

To kick this new feature off, I’ll start by a suggesting a real entertaining little pocket book called The Accidental Masterpiece, On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman.

Mr. Kimmelman is an art critic that covers the European arts beat for the New York Times. This book is basically a very enjoyable long essay that connects certain aspects of fine art and artists’ lives to the way we all live our own lives, and the “stuff” that we see everyday. One highlighted review on the back cover of the book comes from Vogue magazine: “... bits of memoir, travel writing, and biography, with wide-ranging and brilliant critical reflections on finding the art in everyday life.”  That’s basically what it is.

A refreshing and enjoyable read, this book helped me see things like modern art as well as art history in a different (and better) light. I actually went to my local Borders book shop and came real close to buying a how-to book on abstract painting shortly after reading Mr. Kimmelman’s book.

The Accidental Masterpiece touches on points such as, why people collect things (like lightbulbs), how and why museums changed forever the way we perceive works of art, and, in a chapter called “The Art of Maximizing Your Time” comments on how we can learn from people throughout history, who in really difficult circumstances, were able to create their best art.

So big thumbs up for this book! I’ll leave you with a quote from the author’s introduction:

 “...I have come to feel that everything, even the most ordinary affair, is enriched by the lessons that can be gleaned from art: that beauty is often where you don’t expect to find it; that it is something we may discover and also invent, then reinvent, for ourselves.”

Quite.