I have a lovely book to share with you this morning. Julie Rothman and Chronicle Books asked me to participate in a book tour and I couldn’t resist – I am a fan of Julia’s work and so naturally I’m happy to see her new title, The Exquisite Book, published by Chronicle. It is so stunning, interesting and altogether a fun book to add to your collection of fantastic art books. What I mean by “fun” is that it’s not your typical art book – the pages fold out for one and there’s not a lot of blah blah text — which is nice for a change — you are free to interpret as you please and simply sit back and enjoy the stunning visuals. What makes it so interesting to me, which will be explained more in detail below, is that the book is loosely based on a game started by Surrealists in the 20’s called the Exquisite Corpse.
Julia’s version of this game brings together 100 of today’s hottest indie illustrators, artists, designers and comic artists that so many of us know and love like Jill Bliss, Lisa Congdon, Camilla Engman, Matt Stephens, Susie Ghahremani, Irina Troitskaya, Mike Perry, Caitlin Keegan, Lab Partners, Betsy Walton and many more.
Now here is that detailed explanation of how the book works that I promised, “There are ten groups of ten artists participating in the process. Each artist is contributing one page to the book. The first artist was given a few words to inspire their drawing. Each of the following artists saw only the page that immediately precedes their own. Each artist is using images (and optionally, words) to create their continuation to the story, and the inspiration for the next artist in line. Besides continuing the story of the last artist, there is another, more visual, connection between the pages. Each artist has a horizon line in their image that starts on the left side of the page and ends on the right. Where the horizon line of the first artist’s page ends, is where it begins for the next artist. (The horizon line part has been very loose and it has been exciting to see how everyone interprets it.)”
If you think it sounds cool, well I own the book (thanks, Julia!) and well, it IS cool. I spent at least an hour looking through it and trying REALLY HARD to not remove the gorgeous pages and frame them – ha ha – the amazing work oozes from this book is positively awesome. Thankfully, Julia told me a few days ago that they’ve set up a shop where the art from the book is being sold as prints – yay! You can buy whatever you see in the book that tickles your fancy right here.
You can also watch a video about The Exquisite Book here or purchase a copy for yourself here on the Chronicle website — PROMO OFFER: Get 25% off AND free shipping (in the U.S.) with Promo Code EXQ if you buy from Chronicle Books directly. Weeeee!
Congrats Julia and to your co-authors Jenny Volvovski,, Matt Lamothe, Dave Eggers! Way to go and much success to you all — this book is a job well done!
(images: the exquisite book)