Wednesday, November 2, 2011

James Jean's Rebus

James Jean's most recent book, titled Rebus, is a large and solid hard cover that spans the artist's work from early commercial to his most recent personal images. Featuring little previously printed work, the book touches base lightly with Jean's more familiar commercial style, almost as though to ground and remind us who we are dealing with, before strolling forward into Jean's most recent direction.

Created for his first solo show, Kindling, 2009 in Soho, the above image remains one of my favorite paintings of Jean's. Shortly after purchasing this book, I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by Jean. He's pretty funny, and I really enjoyed his talk. One of the things I remember most was him saying that after he had made all the work for the show, all he wanted to do was set it on fire, because everything was so darn pretty. Thus the name Kindling.

The book also talks a little bit about Jean's work with Prada, the job that effectively but an end to Jean's commercial career. He said during his lecture that he was allowed to do whatever he wanted and that it was very very lucrative. After such a perfect client, he could never go back. 2008 marked the point in which James Jean's work became entirely personal.

During his lecture, Jean showed some of his early work, including that from his college days. It was interesting to see some of the themes he was interested in pursuing then are once again emerging in his most recent work. 

He signed my copy!!!

Pros: It is a heavy book with good solid binding and nice quality glossy paper. The binding is good too, and there is just the right amount of text to say what needs to be said. The work speaks perfectly for itself.

Cons: Just a pet peeve, a couple of images are full page spreads with the center falling in the seam, making the image difficult to enjoy properly. But otherwise, I have nothing to say, really, it's perfect.

How to Buy: Amazon 
If you buy the book using this link, it will help tell me which books you like me to review, and will assist me towards purchasing more

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