The first impression of W. Reginald Bray (1879-1939) was one of an ordinary middle-class Englishman quietly living out his time as an accountant in the leafy suburb of Forest Hill, London. A glimpse behind his study door, however, revealed his extraordinary passion for sending unusual items through the mail. In 1898, Bray purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide, and began to study the regulations published quarterly by the British postal authorities. He discovered that the smallest item one could post was a bee, and the largest, an elephant. Intrigued, he decided to experiment with sending ordinary and strange objects through the post unwrapped, including a turnip, abowler hat, a bicycle pump, shirt cuffs, seaweed, a clothes brush, even a rabbit's skull. He eventually posted his Irish terrier and himself (not together), earning him the name "The Human Letter." He also mailed cards to challenging addressessome in the form of picture puzzles, others sent to ambiguous recipients at hard to reach destinationsall in the name of testing the deductive powers of the beleaguered postman. Over time hispassion changed from sending curios to amassing the world's largest collection of autographs, also via the post. Starting with key British military officers involved in the Second Boer War, he acquired thousands of autographs during the first four decades of the twentieth centuryof politicians, military men, performing artists, aviators, sporting stars, and many others. By the time he died in 1939, Bray had sent out more than thirty-two thousand postal curios and autograph requests. The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects tells W. Reginald Bray's remarkable tale for the first time and includes delightful illustrations of some of his most amazing postal creations. Readers will never look at the objects they post the same way again.
Today's crafters are no longer interested in simply cross-stitching samplers or painting floral scrolls on china. Instead, the contemporary craft movement embraces emerging artists, crafters, and designers working in traditional and nontraditional media. Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching has revolutionized the embroidery industry. Each year Nikki McClure sells thousands of her cut-paper wall calendars. Emily Kircher recycles vintage materials into purses. Stephanie Syjuco manufactures clothing under the tag line "Because Sweatshops Suck." These are just some of the fascinating makers united in the new wave of craft capturing the attention of the nation, the Handmade Nation.
Faythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For Handmade Nation (along with the documentary film of the same name, coming in 2009) she and Cortney Heimerl have selected 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community. Participants in this community share ideas and encouragement through websites, blogs, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Twenty-four artists from Olympia, Washington, to Providence, Rhode Island, and everywhere in between show their work and discuss their lives. Texts by Andrew Wagner of American Craft Magazine, Garth Johnson of Extremecraft.com, Callie Janoff of the Church of Craft, Betsy Greer of Craftivism.com, and Susan Beal, author of Super Crafty, supply a critical view of the tight-knit community where ethics can overlap with creativity and art with community. Handmade Nation features photographs of the makers, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them. Handmade Nation is a fascinating book for those who are a part of the emerging movement or just interested in sampling its wares.
--New York Times
"Answering this question reveals a great deal about your personality, priorities and interests."
--The Guardian (UK)
If your house were on fire, what would you take? Foster Huntington has collected answers to this telling question from thousands of responders all over the world to get to the heart of what it is that people truly value. The result is The Burning House, featuring the best of Huntington's popular website, TheBurningHouse.com along with a wealth of all-new material. Fascinating and remarkably revealing, The Burning House provides a captivating keyhole into people's lives, feelings, and innermost thoughts that will especially appeal to the many fans of PostSecret, Not Quite What I Was Planning, Found, and Awkward Family Photos. Illustrated with sometimes moving, often unusual photographs of people's most prized possessions, The Burning House ingeniously celebrates the differences between human beings around the globe--and the surprising similarities that unite us all.
This book showcases some of the finest examples of The National Maritime Museum's collection of prints of ports from this period. Prints are analysed as commercial and art objects, rathers than as simple historical records of matters maritime. The aim is to address a broad audience, including general readers of eighteenth and nineteenth century British and colonial history, those interested in ports and maritime affairs, and those with an interest in prints themselves.The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were a period of enormous political and commercial development across the globe. Of particular importance was the revolution in transportation and communication by sea, with the concomitant growth in size and importance of the seaport. Despite growing awareness that the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were a formative period in the development of maritime art, there has been relatively little exploration of maritime prints. This is extraordinary, since the period c.1700-1870 was a golden age of print production and saw the development of new forms of engraving such as aquatint and lithography, as well as the production of beautiful examples of line engraving and woodcut. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the establishment and expansion of major ports not just in Britain, but in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and in North and South America. The National Maritime Museum, upon which collection this book is based, is at the centre of the preservation and display of Britain's maritime heritage. Its print collection reveals the firm link between art and commerce in the development of these ports.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (18411919) was one of the most audacious and original landscape artists of his age. Throughout his career, he continually experimented with composition, light, paint handling, and pictorial structure in innovative new ways that challenged traditionaland contemporarypainting. He taught himself by working side-by-side with fellow Impressionist masters Monet and Sisley, and in the 1870s began to define his distinctive landscape style of quick, silvery brushstrokes. By the end of the decade he had moved decisively in the direction of unparalleled painterly freedom.
This stunning book is the first to examine Renoir s landscape art in depth, tracing its evolution from the beginning of his career through his Impressionist period and the early 1880s, when he began to incorporate new landscape motifs and new levels of coloristic intensity in paintings after traveling to Algeria and Italy. With over 200 illustrations, a detailed chronology, and bibliography, the book" "includes essays by highly distinguished scholars that discuss the range and importance of these works and present many fresh discoveries. They also place Renoir s landscapes in the overall context of the genre in 19th-century France, revealing how his experiments were radical andin ways that have not yet been fully acknowledgedinfluential on the later development of modern art."
This book is the perfect guide for creating lifelike representations of the human head in graphite. Experienced artist Lance Richlin begins by explaining drawing tools and materials, shading techniques, and the important anatomical structures of the head. Following these basics, he shows how to light the subject, block in and render each feature of the face, and address a variety of expressions-from subtle smiles to toothy grins. Then he guides the reader through four impressive projects, showing how to develop a lifelike head drawing in seven simple stages: the lay-in, plumb lines, volume, outline, tonal pattern, value, and finishing. Readers also will find an in-depth troubleshooting section to help them identify and solve any problems that lessen the realism and accuracy of their drawings. In an age full of technological shortcuts, this book emphasizes drawing from life and seeks to preserve the methods of the old masters.
Mehndi, the ancient art of painting on the skin with henna, beautifies the body, rejuvenates the spirit, and celebrates the joys of creativity and self-expression. More than just a temporary tattoo, mehndi offers us a way to participate in a centuries-old tradition still practiced in India, Africa, and the Middle East.
In this stunning and authoritative book, Loretta Roome traces the origins and meanings of traditional designs, demonstrates how to create them on the skin, and reveals the recipes, tools, and techniques needed to paint designs that range from simple to complex. The result of years of research and the author's experience as one of the nation's foremost mehndi artists, Roome's book offers practical information, creative inspiration, and many suggestions for enhancing the playful, intimate, sensual, erotic, and spiritual aspects of the ancient and amazing art of mehndi.
Graffiti art is constantly changing. Fresh coats of paint and newly pasted posters appear overnight in cities across the world. New artists, new ideas, and new tactics displace faded images in a perpetual process of renewal and metamorphosis. From Los Angeles to Barcelona, Stockholm to Tokyo, Melbourne to Milan, wall spaces are a breeding ground for graphic and typographic forms as artists unleash their daily creations.
Current graffiti art is reflective of the world around it. Using new materials and techniques, its innovators are creating a language of forms and images infused with contemporary graphic design and illustration. Fluent in branding and graphic imagery, they have been replacing tags with more personal logos and shifting from typographic to iconographic forms of communication.
Street Logos is a worldwide celebration of these new developments in twenty-first-century graffiti, an essential sourcebook for all art and design professionals, and a delight to everyone excited by the vitality of the street.
Wafaa Bilal's childhood in Iraq was defined by the horrific rule of Saddam Hussein, two wars, a bloody uprising and time spent interned in chaotic refugee camps in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Bilal eventually made it to the United States to become a professor and a successful artist, but when his brother was killed by an unmanned U.S. Predator drone, he decided to use his art to confront those in the comfort zone with the realities of life in a conflict zone.
His response was "Domestic Tension," an unsettling interactive performance piece: for one month, Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to Internet viewers around the world. Visitors to the gallery and a virtual audience that grew by the thousands could shoot at him twenty-four hours a day. The project received overwhelming worldwide attention and spawned provocative online debates; ultimately, Bilal was named Chicago Tribune's Artist of the Year.
Structured in two parallel narratives, the story of Bilal's life journey and his "Domestic Tension" experience, Shoot an Iraqi, is for anyone who seeks insight into the current conflict in Iraq and for those fascinated by interactive art technologies and the ever-expanding world of online gaming.
Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has exhibited his art worldwide, and traveled and lectured extensively to inform audiences of the situation of the Iraqi people, and the importance of peaceful conflict resolution. Bilal's 2007 dynamic installation "Domestic Tension" gained global recognition, being named Artist of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. Bilal has held exhibitions in Baghdad, the Netherlands, Thailand and Croatia; as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum and various other US galleries. His residencies have included Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California; Catwalk in New New York; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.