Bunny in the Moon by Tara McPherson
The latest hard-covered volume of Tara Mcpherson’s art, Bunny in the Moon complies her art from 2009 to 2012 in 112 pages. She writes in Acknowledgement section “the third time is the charm so they say, and you know what? I agree”, and I agree as well with that sentiment. I thoroughly enjoy her putting the effort to continually publish books of her work, especially in such a digital age where many artists settle for having a website and gallery shows (that are not accessible unless you frequent New York or LA). Bunny in the Moon has much the same format as the previous books except there is no comics included in her latest. Like the previous 2 books there is sketch work and her structure of dividing the book into paintings, posters and sculptures. However unlike her last book Lost Constellation, this comes across as meatier and doesn’t relay as heavily on repeat images in the paintings and the poster sections as well in showing every painting’s sketch. Although keep in mind that most paintings and posters have the sketch work included, and the book is compiled with sketches getting around 40% of the space. I enjoyed the artwork from Bunny in the Moon and although she does not depart from the symbols that are present in all her earlier work it comes across refreshing. There is an evolution of her work without missing out on the things fans have come to love about her style. After being disappointed with Lost Constellation, I was very pleasantly surprised by this book and think for any fan of her work that it is a must. If you are new to her artwork, I highly suggest picking this one up as her bright vibrant work will delight you. For the next book, I hope there is not such a focus on sketch work but I guess we have 2 more years to see!
Don’t forget you can check out her website as well, its lovely!
Lonely Heart by Tara McPherson
Tara Mcpherson’s first book “Lonely Heart” from 2006 shows us her illustrations, comics, silkscreen posters, and personal art. The hardcover 119 page book captures her beautiful artwork which explores the idea of sexuality, emotions and relationships. The one thing I love most about her illustrations is that she is always fearless and bold and isn’t afraid of showing us confident and strong women. Her work often explores relationships and frequently she uses the image of women/men with their heart removed in a very creative way of an actual shape of heart being removed from their body. I find her use of this imagery as very effective and grapping. Her pieces are very captivating to look at and her use of sketch paper to show her outlines of her illustrations is very innovative. I love the inclusion of this type of material in her art book. Lonely Heart also shows a lot of her silkscreen posters that she has made for a number of rock and indie bands like Green Day, Beck, Liars and others. I absolutely love her posters and I was introduced to her work by them. They are probably my favourite tour posters I have come across. I would be delighted if I could find one to hang on my wall (having the book must do sadly as they usually are for shows in the US) and it helps that she makes them for really great bands. Her work is very modern and feels at home with current surrealist and lowbrow artists, with its mixture of dark and sweet (slightly gothic approach). It’s definitely a good book to flip through and out of her 3 current books it is my favourite. Good for fans or anyone who likes their art with a bit of darkness and bubble gum sweet.
Click below of images of the book:
3D Art Book
The 3D Art Book by designer Tristan Eaton is a collection of street art and contemporary art transformed into a 3D version of themselves. With 100 pieces of contemporary artwork this 223 pages book has almost every current artist represented like James Jean, Tara Mcpherson, Shepard Fairey, Junko Mizuno, Miss Van, Ron English and many others from genres like street art, graffiti, pop surrealism and graphic design. Eaton with this book is trying to bring back the 3D popularized in the 50’s, you know the one that needs those retro style red and blue-lens glasses to view. (Dont worry along with the book you receive 2 pairs of 3D glasses to help you view these artworks) As a kid I loved three-dimensional pictures, there is something about the popping out and trippy nature that really always appealed to me, however as an adult beside the occasional 3D movie I haven’t really looked much into 3D world beside a random piece of art here and there. What Eaton has done as taken know artist’s work and transformed them to a whole new piece, using this nostalgic form of 3D. I love this novelty, its very appealing to me and that’s why I picked up this book because it seemed a great way to experience artwork – and it is. The book is fantastic, you feel apart of the artwork and it adds elements never previous felt about each work, however there is some cons with this style. For instant I found a few images never really ‘popped’ for me, despite starting at them for a long time*, instead they came across limp (*you have to look at each image for certain amount of time so you eyes can adjust and actually reveal the 3D effect). As well as a person who has average motion sickness (I wouldn’t consider myself to have extreme or sever motion sickness at all) this book is deadly, after going through the book for 10minutes I manged to give myself a 2 hour long headache and I can mange to watch most 3D movies without issue. However this last con is avoidable, so it is definitely worth hitting up the gravol is you have any issues with motion sickness or 3D effects so this book can be fully enjoyed. I loved it, there is enough artwork in here to satisfy the genre you like, for example if graffiti doesn’t do it for you, there is still plenty of other stuff to look at it. My favourite pieces where James Jean “Shattered”, UPSO “Untitled” and Mint and Serf “Untitled”. The artwork ranges from full page, two pages, and everything in between and it is just plain neat to flip through. I loved it so much and will come back and re-look at it again and again. The novelty of the 3D never wears off while your looking through the book and the pacing and sequence is very well thought out. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good collection of contemporary artists works or for anyone who’s ever liked 3D, and really as a child of the 80’s and early 90’s didn’t who didn’t love 3D; I remember having comics and stickers and being over the moon when I found something that required those retro 3D glasses.
I’ve added images below of the book so if you have by any chance 3D glasses at home you can have a quick look at some of the artwork.
Somewhere Under the Rainbow.
Somewhere Under the Rainbow is a coloring book by Tara McPherson of her artwork through Dark Horse Publications in 2008. I picked mine up two years ago and am still absolutely in love with it. It’s a coloring book mostly but you also get 4 postcards you can color, a sticker set, and with 24 crayons (the colors are custom created by her) in a cute vinyl bag. I collect postcards and stickers so these extra were amazing for me and they do not disappoint. I’ve included below photos of all the extras. It is hard to see how cute the vinyl bag is so you’ll have to trust me and I have already used two of the postcards. That leaves the coloring book itself and the custom crayons. I love coloring books, and this really doesn’t disappoint. She includes most of her artwork that she made before 2008 and the images used are very similar to her art book, “Lonely Heart“ that she put out in … also through Dark Horse. The quality of the paper is very good and it is easy to use markers or pencils crayons with it. I love that it’s in a ring style book so it is easy to flip pages over and color or if you wanted to take out. I’ve colored a few pages and the experience was really fun, you can make your own creation of her work no matter how weird it may end up looking (I am terrible at color theory). She includes all the details of her original pieces and her artwork translates well to the coloring book format. She even included her comic strip work. I guess the only downside to me was the crayons, the custom colors are amazing and I really love them however crayons by nature don’t work as well as they ever should. And anyone over the age of 5 has advance from crayons to pencil crayons so it was really a missed opportunity to not have them instead. And judging from the adult nature of her work, I don’t think the intended audience is anyone under the age of 15. I think it would be a dream to have the custom colors she made in pencil crayons instead. But buying a pack of pencil crayons is hardly a difficult thing to do so this was not a big issue for me at all. It’s simply wonderful, whether you a coloring book enthusiast, love her artwork and want to try your hand color it, or you want to perfect your color theory it’s a great book to do that with, and the extras are the icing on top. High recommended.
For more of her artwork check out here website: Tara Mcpherson
Check out below of photos of the extra items and select pages of the coloring book:
“Lost Constellations” – by Tara McPherson
Lost Constellations is the 2nd book featuring Tara McPherson art, its hard covered, 8.5″ x 11″ with 112 pages. This book showcases her art from 2009 and her first book Lonely Heart in 2006. I love her unique sense of fun, and its great that she shows you all elements of her art career, showing you the paintings and the posters that come from it as well as her sculpture work and comics. This is the middle book in her series, so far she’s put out one every 3 years, 2006, 2009 and 2012. She goes pop surrealism painting on a variety of materials as well as silk screening posters for contemporary rock bands. Her color pallet is very unique to her and her style and I love the imaginary she uses in her work. She is one of my favourite contemporary artist, and she seems like a very down to earth artist who is not full of themselves or her success. I am always genuinely surprised that more people do not know of her, considering musicians seek her out to do posters for their concerts. There is some downside to Lost Constellation as its not covering a long period of time the work featured is sometimes repetitive. Its more a complete look at what she’s been doing instead of showcasing just her best pieces. She alternates from full pages pieces to showing one side sketch drawing with the other one being the painting completed. I like this style and she uses it for all of her three books, however on Lost Constellations it feels a bit more repetitive and the same old same old; I did not get this feeling with her other two books. Perhaps having less pages would make it seem a bit tighter and less formulaic. It is really nice to see her sketch work, especially on the posters she does for bands but when it happens on almost every page it almost gives an impression to me like there wasn’t enough complete pieces to show. Her vibrant art, works best when its side by side another painting, and not a black and white sketch. However its genuinely nice to see her before sketches, it just doesn’t work as well in Lost Constellations as it does in the other two books. I really enjoyed it and if you are a fan of hers, its a must have, however if you are new to her art I suggest buying her one of her other books first to get into her world.
*for a compelte look at Lost Constellations click below, and more of her art check out: Tara McPherson