August 3, 2010

New from Mark Batty Publisher

3:03 am in art,books,design,streets dustin hostetler

While I make zero money off this blog, I do get some awesome perks. The occasional free t-shirt is always nice, as are free books to review. Growing up as the son of a Graphic Designer, I’ve always been surrounded by art & design books. In fact, I inherited a good chunk of my mother’s collection a few years ago and am slowly amassing a library’s worth of material. That being said, there are a lot of fucking terrible art books out there so it’s always refreshing to find a publishing house that is doing things right.

Recently I received three pretty great, and super portable / affordable art books from Mark Batty Publisher… and the following is my review of them:

Idle Idol: The Japanese Mascot by Edward & John Harrison demystifies a Japanese mystery to many westerners… all of those weird cartoon characters with odd back stories reappearing again and again in Japanese pop culture. Lots of fun street photography of little statues, as well as descriptions on why they exist. Highly recommended. A-

Poster Boy: The War of Art covers one artist’s battle with billboard modification, and political street art. To be perfectly honest, Poster Boy’s work really doesn’t speak to me but I do appreciate the war he’s waging. This book does a great job documenting a good chunk of his work, and to people unfamiliar with the concept of billboard modification… I think this would be a great intro. Recommended, but not highly. B-

Name Tagging by Martha Cooper. Martha is hugely responsible for my obsession with graffiti as a kid, based on her involvement with Subway Art… one of the most important graffiti books ever published. I have a feeling with this new book, she is going to inspire a whole new generation of whipper snappers to start vandalizing. This book covers some great artists, and features some really enjoyable photography of graffiti stickers. Highly ultra super duper recommended A+++

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