When I say art book I mean a book about art, not one of those books full of all the sketches and character/world design stuff from a movie or television show. In this case I don’t even mean art instruction, insipration, or any of that. There aren’t even any pictures. What I mean isn’t even really art history, more art theory, yeah, or art religion. I mean Realisation From Seeing to Understanding the Origins of Art by this guy, Julian Spalding.
I’ve never heard of Julian Spalding. I really like him.
I’ve been having problems with reality again. I blame putting away the cameras, they were quite the crutch I guess. I figgured this book would be a good way to read about my trouble without getting caught up in it.
Turns out Spalding is a god damn mavrick. This is a book, full of history, full of pronouncements, with no foot-notes. Spalding is a guy who’ll take a position, his own position, and not qualify. Spalding knows what Stonehendge was for. Spalding knows why the top of the pyrimids at Giza are flat. Spalding knows why perspective came about when it did and it’s not the lame incimental progression slow evolution bullshit that has no place in art history.
I love this book. I had to stop reading it constantly and not for the usual no-pic art book reason of needing to go off and remember what this or that work looked like. I had to stop reading because I needed to give this or that bit time to crawl around through what I remember from art history one whatever through four whathaveyou. I had to stop and start because if I didn’t it’d all be over fast, too fast.
It’s not without it’s flaws. Like everything written on art that mentions any specific work there is a bit of that revolting tendency to see things that aren’t there (ha!) in this or that painting. If you read what I just wrote, I think you should buy what Spalding wrote back in 2015. It’s more relevent every day, not less.