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Books

When You Discover Your Father Had an Affair with Frida Kahlo...

The story of one of Frida Kahlo's short affairs, captured in Marc Petitjean's excellent book, The Heart, offers an inspired glimpse into the surreal Parisian art scene of 1939.

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Film

The Eternal Snow of Frozen Tears: Saving Melting Landscapes

Zürich's Institute of Landscape Architecture explores the fragile connection between mankind and nature in a multimedia project that merges science with art, turning sounds and images of a changing alpine glacier into a moving call to action.

Books

'Shape of Light' Shines in the Space Where Photographic Art Bleeds into Wider Art

There's a wealth of work on display in Shape of Light, from the Tate Modern's exhibit, perhaps one of the finest general collections of abstract photographs currently available in print form.

Books

Joseph Scapellato's 'The Made-Up Man' Brings Forth 21st Century Absurdism

In rendering his most avant-garde characters as members of a kind of self-help conspiracy in The Made-Up Man, Joseph Scapellato offers not an update but a revision of absurdism, and as such, many social phenomena ripe for satire get off easy.

Books

The Art of Typography and Design in Science Fiction Film

From its inception as a blogging project to its culmination into a beautiful art book, Dave Addey's Typeset in the Future is a wonderful but expensive look at typography and design in popular science-fiction films.

Books

'Iconic Magazine Covers' Positions Magazine Covers As Cultural Artifacts and Historical Touchstones

Ian Birch's engaging Iconic Magazine Covers shows how magazines and their covers not only reflect social change -- they can also help bring about social change.

Books

'Garage': A Visually and Intellectually Rich Study of a Seemingly Blank Space

Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela's Garage challenges the beguiling, energizing, and yet limiting power of the garage in America as a symbol of escape and reinvention.

Books

Graphic Fiction 'Roaming Foliage' Digs into the Undergrowth

Patrick Kyle's graphic fiction meta-garden, Roaming Foliage, digs up the roots of the comics form.

Books

Sonic Art, or, Groovy Rock Posters

For fans of poster art and other ephemeral graphic representations of rock music, Rock Graphic Originals is a wonderful resource.

Books

Artist Ria Brodell Offers an Enlightened View on Holy Cards (and History) with 'Butch Heroes'

While it's unlikely that you will ever come across an acknowledged gay, lesbian, or transgender person featured on an official holy card, it's quite possible that some individuals thus pictured snuck in under the radar, so to speak. Ria Brodell's Butch Heroes brings that tragic oversight to light.

Books

Oscar Wilde: 'In Praise of Disobedience'

Being humble and peaceable are not virtues, according to Oscar Wilde, as seen in his collection of essays, In Praise of Disobedience, disobedience and rebelliousness against inequality and tyranny are much more valuable to humankind.

Books

'Blanket' Virtually Covers It All

Kara Thompson's Blanket provides an excellent, warm, and informed history in the Bloomsbury Academic Object Lessons series.

Books

The Monster in Diego Rivera's Labyrinth

The overwhelming message that emerges from the conversations between Diego Rivera and journalist / sci-fi writer Alfredo Cardona Peña is of the vital, passionate centrality of art for today's world.

Books

Huddled Masses and New Media: 'How the Other Half Looks'

How America's ur-ghetto, New York's Lower East Side, changed the way we see ourselves.

Film

Act It Out: Interview with Boots Riley of 'Sorry to Bother You'

Kill the clichés. Rebel artfully. Writer-director-musician Boots Riley talks with Cynthia Fuchs about empowering the power of Art.

Books

Beauty and Power: Artist Lorna Simpson's Coded Language of 'Black' Hair

In this beautiful excerpt from Lorna Simpson Collages, Chronicle books shares with PopMatters readers' selections from the renowned artist's collection and a poignant introduction by award-winning poet, Elizabeth Alexander.

Music

Kanye West: The Iconoclast Gives In

How the allure of newness is leading Kanye West astray.

Music

David King Reuben's New Muse

Acclaimed young painter David King Reuben unveiled three original piano ballads from his forthcoming debut EP at intimate show.

Film

How Laurie Simmons Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Movie Camera

The look and feel of My Art is sunny and green, with warm visuals that have a clear artist's eye for photography.

Film

What Kind of Art Will Hold a Viewer's Attention? 'My Art'

From "contact highs" to Be Kind, Rewind, Laurie Simmons discusses the inspirations for and making of her debut narrative feature film, My Art.

Books

'A Pictographic History of the Oglala Sioux, 50th Anniversary Edition' Is a Treasure

There's really nothing quite like this in other collections of "primitive" art, or even in the grand narrative painting from the European tradition.

Comics

'Magritte: This Is Not a Biography' Is Playful in Its Visual Riffs

This tribute to surrealist painter Rene Magritte reveals more about the comics form than the artist.

Books

There's Fun to Be Found in Artistic Appropriation

Beg, Steal, and Borrow: Artists Against Originality gives some history -- and brings some levity -- to the subject of unoriginality.

Film

'Loving Vincent' Is the "Sincerest Form of Flattery"

Seldom does a biopic about Vincent Van Gogh illustrate the depth of emotion many had for the artist.

Books

'Left Bank' Explores Ideas, Art and Passion in the City of Light

The artists and writers of Paris' Left Bank brought scandal and controversy in their time. In so doing they shaped the artistic and intellectual milieu of the modern world.

Film

Will the Oscars Be a 'Starry Night' for 'Loving Vincent', the First Fully Painted Animation Film?

This unusual rotoscope film captures Vincent van Gogh's art beautifully. But does it capture the mysterious van Gogh himself?

Music

The Roots of Romanticism in David Bowie's Berlin Triptych

In its response to modernity, Romanticism's grand enterprise inspires us to question the current state of things, to ponder how we might "be heroes / just for one day".

Books

Catch Dave Hickey's Collection of Criticism a 'Perfect Wave' and You'll Enjoy the Ride

In Hickey's formulation, what is raw is hot. What is cooked is cool. Art and democracy are better served by cool cats, not hotheads.

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Political Fervor and the Art of John Singleton Copley

Prize-winning historian Jane Kaminsky's Revolution in Color paints the era of the American Revolution with beguiling precision; John Singleton Copley, a man who resisted what we regard as the inevitable outcome of the era, emerges sharp and distinct.

Books

The Good, the Positive and the Funny in Scott C.'s Art

No matter his subject matter, Scott C.'s confident cheerfulness is obvious and infectious.

Books

Shelter from the Norm: Umbrellas Aren’t Always What They Seem in ‘Brolliology’

Mary Poppins, Mrs. Gamp, Egyptian deities, a Japanese umbrella spirit, and a supporting cast of hundreds of brollies fill Marion Rankine's lively history.

Books

Artists Without the Art: 'The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin'

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Books

Chip Kidd: A Singular Voice in Design

The prolific artist may be a designer first, but he's an evangelist for design second.

Books

The Poster Art in 'The Art of Mondo' Is Rich with Inventive and Clever Interpretations of Film

Tom Whalen's gorgeous use of color, Jeff Kleinsmith's arresting images, Jason Munn's minimalist designs, and Aaron Horkey's intricate lettering are only a few of the highlights here.

Books

'Cinemaps' Film Atlas Stimulates the Nerd Nerve

Andrew Degraff beautifully paints your favorite films and helps you nerd out in the process.

Reviews

How Fragile Relationships and Plans Can Be in Cara Hoffman's Running

Running is a disconcerting, moving, and ultimately treasurable novel whose rich, lived-in world and remarkably complex and empathetic protagonists remain alluring from start to finish.

Reviews

Restoring the 'Women of Abstract Expressionism'

A well-designed, absorbing effort to restore women artists to their proper place in the history of the movement.

Reviews
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