Pick Just One

Within the far-reaching creative universe of any prolific artist with a lasting legacy, is it possible to identify the one work that best captures the essence of that artist? Whether it's a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, or an artist in any other realm, any highly regarded artist with a weighty catalogue has already inspired reams of consideration and praise from critics. But most of that attention tends to center on either the general, accepted story of that artist's career, or on a few works that over time have been canonized as the best, most important, or must influential.

Forget about importance and influence for a second. Forget about this artist's "best" or best-selling work, or even your own personal favorite. Which single piece of the artist's creative output is most representative of the bigger picture, of his or her artistic personality? Which one book, film, painting, song, or album best tells us what this artist is all about?

More than just a party game for critics, Pick Just One is a chance to describe the distinctive imprint of an artist through the lens of one representative work. It's a chance to examine in close-up one particular work for the traits it has that are especially characteristic of that artist's vision. It's an opportunity to shine a spotlight on what truly makes artists unique, on what makes us care about them even as the years pass and their artistic portfolio gets larger and larger.

24 Apr 2008 // 10:59 PM

The Fall

The frightening, wonderful world of Mark E. Smith and the Fall offers decades of music and dozens of albums to sift through for the one that best represents what they are all about.

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