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August 25, 2006

Opie, Gonzalez-Torres, and Taylor-Wood, Three New Great Books..

On my walk home from work last Friday, I stopped into the amazing ICP book store.
Being a total Art Book-Aholic this can become a dangerously addicting expensive event.

If you're like me, and on on a 12-step book program tight budget .. you need to go there with a specific limited shopping list.. That night was a 3 book max.. We were in luck.. the first two prized targets they had in stock !!

Book #1 : Catherine_opie_1999 Catherine Opie, "1999 | In and Around Home" Published in conjunction with the exhibition by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. The book brings together two different photographic projects with a thoughtful introduction by Elizabeth Armstrong.

The images are powerful and filled with OpieEsque LesBionic butch political commentary. You'll just love her 1999 pre-turn of the century American landscapes (wow!) many of the images are very refreshing and cool. (Photo #1, one of her 1999 great images)

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Book # 2 : Sam_taylorwood_jesus_is_coming Sam Taylor-Wood's dual book project, it's inovatively produced as one soft cover and one hard cover books in one nicely banded package. Still Lives, the hard cover book, is a  classic show catalog from BALTIC, the other soft cover book titled "Jesus is Coming" (Photo #2, The Cover image pictured to the left) is a collection of a broad range of unpublished and commissioned photos.

The third book..

Which was clearly the most prized item, was the first major full comprehensive monograph spanning the entire career of Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

So.. it was with total shock and awe when I picked up the one display copy at the bookstore to be told they only received 3 copies of the precious book that morning.

But, the two available for sale copies had just been both purchased by one book hog buyer that morning!!

     So when I shrieked complained sternly, that it was clearly insane unfair for them to allow one book hog person to buy both of their precious two available copies.. They laughed at me (like don't they know who I am???) and the little bookstore nerd she said.. "Well, The Buyer was a CELEBRITY!! It was Sir Elton John!" Like BFD! So?

Anyway.. Felix_gonzalestorres_black_rod_licorice_1 The third Book, Felix Gonzalez-Torres Edited by Julie Ault published by Steidle is 320 pages, and filled with original writings, and richly documented with many images of his shows, numerous installations.

(photo #3, Felix's Untitled - Public Opinion, 1991, Black Rod Licorice candy, individually wrapped in cellophane, endless supply, ideal weight, 700 lbs)

Just like his work, the book is truly great.. and it was well worth me trekking all over NYC (I almost even had to cross water!!) for several hours on my MAO vision quest to find an available copy that Friday night!

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OK.. MAO. this time you've gone too far.

How dare you call Catherine Opie's new work butch and LESBIONIC ?? I know her.. and I'm going to tell her you said that!

She is so going to kick your gay MAO ass!

Other book comment: MAO - did you know that there's a new Bas Jan Ader book associated with the exhibit in England? It might be worth looking into.

Thanks Fabio..
I'll check out the Ader book.. I had not seen it yet.

Also.. there is a really detailed story in Art In America magazine this month about how unprofitable Art Book Publishing has become.. very depressing! But probably good for the long term value of collecting art books.

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