Posts tagged ‘Art & photography’

June 16, 2013

Generation Loss: Elizabeth Hand

by Andre

Elizabeth Hand GENERATION LOSSThis first book in an edgy new US crime series introduces us to burnt-out punk photographer Cass Neary. Cass is a mess but at least she hasn’t sold out: she’s hooking up with younger men (and sometimes women) in gnarly New York clubs, still listening to Patti Smith and refusing to ditch her ancient Konica for digital. We’re soon rooting for Cass – though we’re also a bit scared of this hard-drinking, tattooed kleptomaniac and her steel-tipped cowboy boots.

Granted a rare journalistic assignment to interview an influential, reclusive photographer, Cass takes a drug-fuelled drive to Maine where she finds a desolate coastal town dotted with posters of missing teenagers. After reaching the photographer’s isolated island (‘what you’d imagine a fairytale would look like if you fell into one’), the interview doesn’t go to plan; now she’s stuck there. So she drinks, hangs out with the more arty locals and picks up on dark hints about an abandoned commune. Cass can’t help stirring up old secrets, though as one character says it’s more that she makes things weird not worse.

This is a story where the crime is revealed, like death-fixated Cass’s creepy photos in the darkroom, slowly and with a sense of dread. Hand also follows Stephen King’s dictum that readers love the intricacies of work by rubbing our noses in the chemical smells and processes of pre-digital photography. Generation Loss is an eerily atmospheric crime novel with an unrepentant bad girl snarling acerbic one-liners between swigs of Jack Daniel’s. Yet Hand’s prose, preoccupied with creative power and its decline, gleams with a luminous beauty even as it’s pulling the reader to an explosive finale. A Sequel, Available Dark, is out on August and Hand’s next book will take Cass on a trip to London – a terrifying but thrilling prospect.

October 6, 2011

London Unfurled: Matteo Pericoli

by Team Riverside

Matteo Pericoli spent two years travelling along the Thames from Hammersmith Bridge to the [former] Millennium Dome and committing both sides of the riverbank to paper, and this is the result: two 37 foot long pen and ink drawings (a total of over 22 metres for the metrically minded), one for the north bank and another for the south, both beautifully detailed and wondrously simple, printed back to back and all slipcased- up.  This is no mere London souvenir book but a genuine work of art.  For an actual look, check out the artists’ site for it here.

October 25, 2010

Man with a Blue Scarf: on sitting for a portrait by Lucien Freud – Martin Gayford

by Stuart

Martin Gayford’s quietly brilliant new book is a diary of the year and a half he spent sitting to have his portrait painted and etched by the great Lucian Freud. It’s a mesmeric account of these months; overflowing with valuable fragments of Freud’s lively conversation, and plenty of Gayford’s fond and astute critical musings. It’s a gorgeously put-together hardback;  illustrated throughout with some of the best paintings going, and featuring some of David Dawson’s amazing photographs of Freud at work in the studio.  This is my new favourite book in the Art section, and a perfect gift for anyone who has ever given two hoots about painting.

October 4, 2010

What The Hell Are You Doing? The Essential David Shrigley (£20.00)

by Stuart

This glorious big yellow hardback is a sort of greatest hits collection of the brilliantly cack-handed drawings and writings of our Funniest Living Artist. It would make a nice Christmas present for anyone you know with working eyes.