For the visual aesthete, a gorgeous book is always a great gift. If you’re shopping for a gallery-goer, an artist or someone who could use a creative boost, check out one of the bright selections below.
During a 23-year career that has taken her to 70 countries, Pulitzer- Prize winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario has documented the turmoil in hotspots like Libya, Pakistan and Iraq. Twice kidnapped in the line of duty, she delivers a spectacular retrospective of her work with Of Love & War, a majestic collection that captures the drama of everyday existence in war zones around the world. With chapters chronicling Afghanistan under Taliban rule, the refugee crisis and women in the military, the volume is a testament to the endurance of humanity. Excerpts from Addario’s diaries and personal correspondence, along with essays by war correspondent Dexter Filkins and others, provide context for the images. Addario explains that bearing witness to conflict is part of what drives her work. Photography is “proof,” she says. “There is no disputing an image.” And there is no disputing the impact of this revelatory collection.
SURVEY OF AESTHETICS
Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh formed the New York design firm Sagmeister & Walsh in 2012, and they’re quite a team. He’s from Austria; she’s a native New Yorker. He’s created album covers for David Byrne and the Rolling Stones; she’s a website-design whiz who’s worked with Barneys, Levi’s and Jay-Z. Together, they’ve produced an intriguing new volume, Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty, an in-depth exploration of a timeless topic. Drawing upon the work of philosophers and scientists, the authors evaluate the complex power of beauty and its effects on our emotions and actions. They also take stock of the cultural landscape, with a look at developments in advertising, fashion and architecture, and the ways in which aesthetics factor into their impact. With an elegant slipcase, innovative graphics and page after page of stunning imagery, this is a book you can judge by its cover. From start to finish, Beauty lives up to its title.
A CREATIVE SISTERHOOD
During her art-student days, Danielle Krysa noticed that her textbooks were decidedly slanted toward male artists. She turns the tables with A Big Important Art Book (Now with Women): Profiles of Unstoppable Female Artists—and Projects to Help You Become One. In this inspiring volume, Krysa—a painter, collagist and founder of the art website the Jealous Curator—spotlights an international roster of women working in a range of mediums. Polish crochet artist Olek uses yarn to cover everything from a life-size train to the bull that stands on Wall Street. Bunnie Reiss designs whimsical murals that reflect her Eastern European background. Along with breathtaking visuals, each chapter contains a thoughtful exercise that can help readers turn their creative aspirations into realities. “Every artist is a storyteller in some way,” Krysa writes. Whether you’re a dedicated maker or a part-time dabbler, this book can show you how to access and share your own special story.
From Oliver Jeffers. Copyright © 2018 by Oliver Jeffers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Rizzoli.
MASTER OF MANY MEDIUMS
Words fail to do justice to the genius on display in Oliver Jeffers: The Working Mind and Drawing Hand. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jeffers is an acclaimed artist and author. Now 41 and based in Brooklyn, he’s given TED talks, collaborated with U2 and produced an astonishing body of work, with drawings, collages, installations, paintings and picture books that range from surreal to playful to politically pointed. Jeffers’ new volume offers a wonderful sampling of this output. His singular vision shines forth in works that tweak cultural icons (Lady Liberty holds aloft a tiny match instead of a torch in the drawing “New Liberty”) and address social issues (guns grow on a tree in the collage “Land of Plenty”). Throughout, Jeffers provides input on his working methods and milestone projects. With an intro by Bono, this magnificent volume is a must for the art lover.
A VIEW OF HUMANKIND
In Civilization: The Way We Live Now, curators William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell have assembled a captivating visual chronicle of contemporary life across the globe that features images by today’s top photographers, including Thomas Struth, Larry Sultan, Lauren Greenfield and Cindy Sherman. The book was inspired, Ewing writes, by “an appreciation of the phenomenal complexity of civilization, and a curiosity to see how different photographers have dealt with it.” Indeed, Civilization presents a mosaic of moods, textures and techniques. The volume is organized into eight sections that address unique aspects of modern culture, from the cities we’ve constructed to the technological wonders we’ve conceived. Intimate portraits and teeming crowds bring home the diverse nature of humanity. Capturing the multiplicity of lived experience in an era of accelerated change, this provocative collection is a classic of its kind.