Friday, June 08, 2007

Review of Micheal deMeng's new book

His new book is called the Secret of Rusty Things. I just got it in the mail. It was autographed and everything. That part - I did not care so much about. I did want the trading card though. That is pretty cool. It is a large paperback - about notebook paper size. I thought that there would be more to the cover. Maybe something more 3 dimensional. Inside, there are a lot of little stories and analogies. A lot of metaphors. He shows you a piece (which is dedicated to someone) and shows you picts of what he does to get there. That is really the gist of the whole book. He does have some stories at the beginning of each dedication that is somehow related to the piece that he then shows picts of and explains. This is not a technique book. He really does not tell you how to do each piece step-by-step (which I did not want anyway) but he tells you more about what he is thinking about as he goes through the process of creating.

The picts are fabulous. I love how he transforms found objects into something truly wonderous. I really enjoy his style of art and like to see how he changes something. He is really good with composition and leading your eye. After taking a couple of his workshops, it is much easier to understand how he does some things so that something looks like the way it does. Does that make sense to you?

I did not know what to expect from this book. I knew that it was not a technique book. I don't buy those anymore anyway. I am not sure what I expected. I will go through it again tonight. At first blush, I am left feeling unsatisfied and a little disappointed. It was something I would have bought no matter what. Found object fans will love it as eye candy alone. I can't tell you what I expected or what else I wanted, I just know that I am just not feeling it.

I will be interested in hearing from other people what you thought about it. Remember, this is only my opinion.


clearpickle said...

I pre-ordered it from Amazon way back in December and I feel exactly the same as you do! Perhaps because I have seen his work in person I was expecting more than just pictures of object transformation. I don't know what I expected, but the book just wasn't satisfying for me.

jlh said...

I think Michael's book is awesome! I really didn't know what to expect of it either but knowing some of his thoughts that go into his art and the mythology behind them is fascinating. I am amazed that he can think of the philosophy at that level while he's doing the art and then to be able to communicate what's going through his head - well - it's very inspiring! Can't wait to read it cover to cover...See you in August!