Friday, May 8, 2015

Alexander Calder: Meet the Artist

I'm a little bit in love with this book. At the risk of admitting I am an uneducated rube, I had previously been unaware of Alexander Calder. Thankfully, this book welcomes rubes.

The book starts off fun, with the first two pages covered with colored bubbles (some of which lift up to display photos) that give away blips of information about the artist. I particularly liked the one that read "He used to wear red flannel shirts and dust-covered shoes, and his pockets were full of things." He sounds like such a lovable character.

After the personal section, the book goes on to describe and present photos of Calder's work, from brass animals and toys to wire sculptures and mobiles. More than that, this is also a read and play book, with interactive parts available for the readers. On one page is a chain attached at the top and bottom, with a length that you move around to create free form sculptures. At the very back of the book is a pocket that holds two sheets of punch-outs. One sheet is circus animals that you punch out to to use on the circus page, on the pop up high wire.

Definitely this book is intended to be inspirational, and it truly hits the mark. Seeing what Calder created makes me believe that I could also create something beautiful out of everyday objects. Readers can start creating by using the sheet of punch out household items (tin cans, bottle caps, clothespins) provided in the book, and hopefully move on from there.

Meet the Artist seems to be a new series from Princeton Architectural Press, at least I hope it is, because this book is the perfect mix of educational, artistic, quirky, and fun. 

Review copy provided by Princeton Architectural Press.

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