Art books, synonymous with coffee table books, are an entry into the magical world of art, artwork, artists, and everything in between. It’s fun to get lost in the endless array of beautiful swirls of color and composition and learn something new along the way. Now, if you allow me, I’d like to share some of my personal favorites that enchant me at Neverland.
Do you like the food? Me too. Wayne Thiebaud is one of America’s iconic painters, known for his colorful works depicting mundane objects. “Delicious Metropolis” features Thiebaud’s desserts and urban scenes, but as, together. For example, the pastel hues of glazed sponge cakes match the candy-colored houses of California. The contrast is fascinating and whimsical, and I’d say it’s the perfect coffee table book to peruse with a slice of cake!
I fell in love with Nara’s works after a visit (which later turned into 10) at LACMA’s special exhibition of the artist’s sketches, sculptures and paintings. Nara’s distinct style invokes a very particular mix of feelings that go beyond the cuteness and aesthetics of her characters. Nara’s art books are worth buying due to the endless number of sketches presented, and as you flip through the pages you begin to understand the power and popularity of the artist.
Accidentally Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson’s films all have a distinctive visual that seems too vibrant, one-of-a-kind, and painstakingly crafted to be considered real. “Wally Koval”Accidentally Wes Anderson” compiles Anderson’s closest locations around the world, celebrating the unique aesthetic that millions of Anderson fans love. The photos capture the symmetrical, the atypical and the unexpected in striking photographs from around the world. If you like Wes Anderson movies and love to travel, this one is for you.
Every person in New York
Featuring Jason Polan’s endless illustrations of New Yorkers (and not just humans!), this expansive compilation is almost a love letter to the “Big Apple”. There are drawings from every nook and corner of the city – from people at MoMa to those dozing on the subway. The illustrations are simple but full of character, and every time I open the book under the light from my bed, each drawing comes to life. This book is a light, funny and warm ode to New York and to all the foreigners you will meet.
Matisse: The Red Studio
Henri Matisse is well known for his original use of color and his vivid brushstrokes. Notably,
“The Red Studio” is one of the most influential works in the history of modern art. The painting depicts the artist’s studio filled with his own objects and various paintings that call for much speculation. And, like its name, the iconic saturation of red in the canvas generates an everlasting buzz in the art world. The book dissects and ventures through the objects and paintings in “The red workshop itself, and it’s a fascinating journey through this monument of 20th century art.
Ludwig Bemelmans: the illustrators
Ludwig Bemelmans is the illustrator brain behind the beloved “Magdalene” and a frequent contributor to the covers of The New Yorker throughout the 1940s and 1950s. The art book offers a rich visual compilation of Bemelmans’ life and work, and looking through the sketches and photographs of his archives, I feel like I’m traveling back in time to a whimsical spirit world. I’ve gone through the book countless times and without fail, after each reading I feel the urge to doodle on a napkin.
While the art world can seem daunting and secretive, the wide assortment of art books makes the field accessible and even magical. If there’s a book that speaks to you, don’t be afraid to pick it up! Believe me, it will be amazing.