Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Literature of Art

Since my move to AZ I've been reading a lot more often. This has been possible thanks to factors such as the lack of 24/7 internet access and more time spent on public transportation.
Not long after I got here I picked up the book, 'Seven Days In The Art World' by Sarah Thornton
I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to non-fiction book, I'll be honest. Though, this book was a true bit of recent-history written in a great narrative. Unlike Sarah Thornton, I'm really not one who's good with words so here's the synopsis from off her website:

Seven Days in the Art World is an unconventional ethnography and a social history of the recent past. Set in New York, Los Angeles, London, Basel, Venice, and Tokyo, the book is populated by colorful characters who espouse conflicting definitions of art. Some see it as a luxury good or entertainment, others view it as an intellectual calling, a job description, or a kind of alternative religion. In a series of day-in-the-life narratives, Thornton investigates the minute dramas of a Christie’s evening sale, life in a notorious CalArts seminar, the elite trade of the Basel Art Fair, the competition behind the Tate’s Turner Prize, the peculiarities of Artforum and its critics, the high jinks of Takashi Murakami’s studios, and the curatorial wonderland that is the Venice Biennale. Thornton’s entertaining book explores the dynamics of creativity, taste, judgment, status, money, and the search for beauty in life.

Honestly, if you have any desire to be apart of the contemporary art world or have any love for it, you will read this book.

I've recently started reading 'Art & Fear' by David Bayles and Ted Orland. This is a bit of a psychology book that I'm only a few chapters deep into. It's intriguing so far. The book's about "the way art gets made, the reasons it often doesn't get made, and about the difficulties that cause so many artists to give up along the way".

I have this long list of must reads. In between I pick up a few art magazines here or there. Hi-Fructose magazine is probably my favorite. A quarterly art magazine, founded by artists, Attaboy (Daniel Seifert) and Annie Owens that has a focus on emerging and more recent contemporary artists, leaning towards an illustrative direction. It also was my replacement for Juxtapoz magazine which I used to read religiously but has in the past year or two changed it's approach. I tend to browse the magazine on the stands and only purchase issues that seem really interesting or have a feature by one of my favorite artists. :/

A recent discovery was Blue Canvas. This magazine is different. Blue Canvas is an online artist social net work [think DeviantArt but, more formal?] where the artist posts their work and the community browses and nominates you and your work for the quarterly magazine.

What kinds of artist literature have you/do you read?