Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh Yes Indeed, It's Fun Time!

I thought I'd remind everyone one last time that this Thursday, September 1st at Launch LA, we will be having the big book release party for Heroes & Villains. I've been told that more than 30 of the featured artists will be present for signing and whatnot, and I hope to see you, too.

As long as I'm here tooting my own horn, I figured why not include a little excerpt from a stupendous review of the book that was just posted on Ektopia? (Which, incidentally, is one of my very favorite blogs.) So here you go.

"The quality of the photography is spectacular. Of the artists I feel that I know through their art, the images speak volumes about their character. Tatiana and Roman seemed to have been able to capture their spirit, and that can’t be an easy thing to do… in fact, it must be nearly impossible. This is the first reason for thinking that this book is so remarkable; these portraits speak.

But as I mentioned earlier, it’s not all about the portraiture; there are the interviews too. Now, first of all, not all the artists are interviewed. What we have here are fourteen interviews that are handled with such sophistication and depth that you don’t miss the omissions. Tatiana and Roman are photographers, though, and that’s where their expertise lies. For sophisticated interviews, you need a sophisticated interviewer, and they don’t come much more sophisticated than Amanda Erlanson.

I happen to think that Amanda is one of the greatest writers on the art-scene. I’ve been following her personal website, Erratic Phenomena, since its early days. I simply don’t have the words to describe her writing style without saying that it’s engaging, has the perfect momentum and is always interesting in content and the language that she’s obviously so adept in. So, who better to ask the questions? I would say that no one is more qualified for the job, and she proves it in the interviews. Each of the interviews is put together with thoughtfully composed questions and is placed to elicit an equally thoughtful answer. This is exactly what she gets in return for her trouble. Each question is well researched and tailor-made for its intended recipient, and the artists open up, dig deep and reflect on their past and also discuss their future plans. I’ve wanted to interview artists on Ektopia for years, but have never been able to come up with suitable questions (apart from the normal boring stuff), and reading Amanda’s questions has confirmed for me that it’s an art-form in itself. In the same way that Tatiana and Roman are at the top of their game, Amanda is too.

As well as the interviews, Amanda also handles an introductory essay, and she does this in the same manner as she interviews. Gracefully, informatively and eloquently. I wondered how these particular artists were intertwined… what makes them a collection of artists that should be studied together. These are outsider artists and they neatly fit together, and Amanda explains this in depth with ease."

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