Fantastic Forms

There are a few really neat books in store that make interesting use of the classic book format and challenge our normal ways of telling stories.

The Exquisite Book contains the creativity of a hundred artists, among them a few of D&Q's own. Organized by Julia Rothman, creator of the Book By Its Cover site, every chapter pulls out to 10 pages of artist collaboration in the style of the exquisite corpse drawing game, in which each subsequent participant continues a drawing based on the work preceding theirs.

Each chapter of the book pulls out reaaally long.

Vanessa Davis' piece, bracketed by Joel Trussell and Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch

Julie Morstad and Wu Wing Yee

Anders Nilsen and Evan B. Harris

Illustrated and collected by Kay Rosen, Nau Sea Sea Sick is another conceptual creation. This book has uncut pages and a set of narratives which all are in some way a retaking of classic shorts. With stories by Eileen Myles and Katherine Mansfield, along with several others, this book promises to be not only a tactile adventure, but an intellectual one as well!

Weighting down our art table is Walton Ford's Pancha Tantra. This hefty tome is a gorgeous, oversized book. The clear, detailed color reproductions let you lose yourself in the painter's tremendous visual allegories.

In the opening to his appendix, Walton writes:
"I like buying books--used books especially. Not first editions or collectors' items, but books i can use....The books provide words that transform into images. The images sometimes become watercolor paintings or prints. Now these paintings have been transformed into the book before you."

Ford reproduces each quote or passage which inspired the paintings in the book. Making the links between the images and the quotes often requires some alternative thinking, but every time you understand what he is trying to convey it is a surprising and heartening revelation that ultimately gives his pieces even more depth. I love this book, and I am sure you will too.

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