In addition to the wide range of gift options to be found among SVA faculty and alumni projects, there is an impressive number of books to be considered this holiday season. Below are several which are sure to appeal to creative types and art lovers.
A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley (Goff Books), written and designed by MFA Design faculty member Warren Lehrer, chronicles the life and books of Bleu Mobley, a controversial author in federal prison. The novel contains 101 of Mobley’s book cover designs and critical reviews, melding art and literature with an innovative level of depth and wit. The book has been named “Best New Fiction” in the 2014 USA Best Book Awards, among numerous other accolades.
MFA Design Department Co-chair Steven Heller offers his insights in Mid-Century Ads (Taschen), which features a compilation of clever and spirited advertisements from the 50s and 60s during the rise of American consumerism. From guns to girdles, each image has been digitally mastered to look as bright and new as it once did decades ago.
MFA Products of Design Chair Allan Chochinov‘s new Designing Here/Now (Thames & Hudson) is a vast compilation of works in design, illustrating current trends and future possibilities. The 443-page book includes innovative takes on contemporary practices while exploring more experimental and futuristic visions.
Graffica della Strada: The Signs of Italy (Princeton Architectural Press) explores the many marvels of design found on the streets of Italy. MFA Design and BFA Design faculty member Louise Fili assembled this photographic diary of storefronts, advertisements, restaurants, hotels and street signs as a testament to the creativity and beauty of Italian culture.
The Principles of Art: 100 Key Concepts for Understanding, Analyzing, and Practicing Art (Rockport Publishers) by BFA Illustration and BFA Design faculty member John Parks offers an accessible, detailed overview that will “guide, challenge and inspire any artist to make better, more focused art.” Richly illustrated, the book is intended for practicing artists as well as educators, historians, and students of art. The book serves as such an essential guide that it is required reading for first- and second-year BFA Design students.
Twelve Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks) is an overview and introduction to cooking, covering essential recipes involving eggs, toast, beans, pasta with tomato, as well as meats and vegetables. Alumnus Cal Peternell (BFA 1987 Fine Arts), renowned chef of Chez Panisse, devised the cookbook when his eldest son went off to college. Through a series of phone calls, Peternell taught his son how to prepare such fundamental meals and inspiration for the book struck.
Peter Bagge: Conversations (University Press of Mississippi) canvasses the procupations, career decisions, and personal habits of the cartoonist and comic legend Peter Bagge. Through a series of conversations with friends, zine publishers, critics and journalists, Art History faculty member Kent Worcester sheds light on a major voice in alternative comics.
The Best Most Useless Dress (Badlands Unlimited ) is a decade’s worth of evocative poetry, essays, performance texts, and reviews written by MFA Art Criticism and Writing faculty member Claudia La Rocco. Best known as a critic for The New York Times and Artforum, La Rocco’s first book is described to be as “mercurial and imaginative as her criticism.”
Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1 (Dedalus) documents and anthologizes the artwork involved in an exhibition of the same name held in Sunset Park a year after Hurricane Sandy. The book, like the exhibition, commemorates the artistic community’s unification and creative response in Sandy’s aftermath. MFA Photography, Video and Related Media faculty member Phong Bui curated the original exhibition.