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The Artful Dodger: Images and Reflections by…

The Artful Dodger: Images and Reflections (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Nick Bantock

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272841,704 (4.16)4
Title:The Artful Dodger: Images and Reflections
Authors:Nick Bantock
Info:Chronicle Books (2000), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:NF, Finished, Your library (inactive)
Tags:Art, 2009 Reading, Biographical

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The Artful Dodger: Images and Reflections by Nick Bantock (2000)



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This is good, but far from comprehensive survey of Nick Bantock's art career. A lot of the images are stunning, sometimes printed full bleed and his stories very honestly represent the fears, insecurities and victories of a developing artist. ( )
  fundevogel | Jun 9, 2010 |
An interesting memoir by a very talented contemporary artist. ( )
  Katya0133 | Mar 2, 2009 |
This is a great book if you like Nick Bantock's work. He gives an inside look at his artistic influences and his creative process. It's a very down-to-earth read, humorous at times. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. ( )
  Solar-Moon | Nov 5, 2008 |
I feature this book as a source of inspiration. I love looking over artists' shoulders, reading what they have to say about their work process and finished pieces, seeing the progression of their work over a long span of time; for all this, even though I had only vaguely heard of Nick Bantock when I came across this book, I grabbed it and was glad. It is autobiographical in nature, Bantock speaking of his beginnings, experience in the field and works in progess, but the emphasis is entirely on the work, and the book is generously illustrated with it. Bantock is exceptionally versatile, so this volume makes my illustration senses tingle everytime – so much to try, so many ways of using a medium, so many directions into which to push one's personal style. The text really is interesting, discussing creative processes of works by him known and less known.

Considering its price, this book will mostly interest Nick Bantock fans and serious illustrators building a library of big names in the field. ( )
  joumanamedlej | Sep 17, 2007 |
An autobiography with lots of art. It was entertaining to see someone who leans on serendipity as much as I do. I'm glad he's made such good use of the coincidences. ( )
  aneel | May 9, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0811827526, Hardcover)

As 3 million readers can attest, Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine trilogy is the world's most original epistolary novel. It contains (physically contains) the correspondence of Londoner Griffin Moss and Sabine Strohem of the Sicmon Islands in the South Pacific--colorful postcards and letters in envelopes pasted into the book, which the reader must open and read. In his gloriously illustrated autobiography The Artful Dodger, Bantock explains the allure of opening letters: it's "a sort of cross between Christmas and sex." And when the letters illuminate somebody else's mysterious love affair, it's all the more delicious.

Griffin and Sabine really are mysterious, and it's tricky to piece together their story from the fanciful, surrealistic bits the text, maps, stamps, and pictures provide. That's why fans will be ravenous to read Bantock's charmingly straightforward memoir, which lets us in on all kinds of secrets about his symbols and visual sources. Winged figures always signify transition, he says, "whether on a monkey, an angel, or a devil." Sabine's Sicmon Islands home derives from the English expression "sick as a parrot," which connects with the parrot on the first book's cover and expresses Griffin's ailing English soul--what he needs is a sensual, elusive Sabine to get his blood up. Both characters are warring parts of Bantock's own psyche.

You don't need to know a thing about them to revel in this book. It's spellbinding in its own right, partly for the artless narrative, but mostly for the hundreds of pictures and the fascinating intricacy of Bantock's creative process. Sabine done in ghostly charcoal and gold dust is exquisite, no matter who she might be. It's a bit spooky to learn that a 1970s French stamp Bantock bought from his local shop to go with one of Sabine's postcards turns out to have been classified as "Type Sabine" by the French Philatelic Society. It was taken from a David painting of the Sabine women, and was meant to symbolize "union"--the central theme of Bantock's trilogy.

There is plenty besides his greatest hit to delight the eye here. The book cover illustrations are arresting, particularly for Peter Ackroyd's bio Chatterton (though his depiction of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land is drably silly). His pop-up books of Jabberwocky and The Egyptian Jukebox (a series of drawers full of museum-like objects that tell the tale of a mad millionaire's travels) are brilliant. Bantock's gift for collage does honor to his idol, Joseph Cornell, without being derivative. His wildly improbable life story proves that fate shares his enthusiasm for flights of fancy. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:23 -0400)

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