Atrt is quite possibly one of the most subjective topics there is. It affects, inspired, and disgusts equally and differently for everyone involved. B...moreAtrt is quite possibly one of the most subjective topics there is. It affects, inspired, and disgusts equally and differently for everyone involved. But until the mid-1800's there were some generally accepted rules that artists followed - but since then that idea has been shot down utterly and completely by modern and contemporary art but not before completely offending and confusing the entire world.
The trouble started for the Impressionists when they fell foul of Paris's all-powerful and stuffily bureaucratic Academie des Beaux Arts (the Academy). The Academy expected artists to make work based on mythology, religious iconography, history or classical antiquity in a style that idealized he subject. Such fakery didn't interest this group of young, ambitious painters. They wanted to leave their studios and go outside to document the modern world around them. It was a bold move. Artists didn't simply wander off and paint 'low' subjects such as ordinary people picnicing, or drinking or walking; it wasn't the done thing. It would be like Steven Spielberg hiring himself out for wedding videos. Artists were expected to stay in their studios and produce picturesque landscapes or heroic images of human forms that harked back in time. That was the great and the good demanded for the walls of their fine houses and the city's museums, and this is what they got. Until the impressionists came along, that is.
This book is an attempt to explain modern art to anyone and everyone. It's not meant to be academic but approachable. And it has some fabulous passages that do just that. It educates and yet surprises. It turns modern assumptions about modern art on their heads while explaining why we made these assumptions in the first place. One of my favorite passages from the book that does just that is the following which discusses Impressionism...
Within the context of modern art, the more traditionally minded consider. The Impressionists the last group to produce 'proper art.' They didn't go in for all that 'conceptual nonsense' and those 'abstract squiggles' that came later, but produced paintings that were clear, beautiful and refreshingly inoffensive.
Actually, that's not quite right. As least, that's not what people thought at the time. The Impressionists were the most radical, rebellious, barricade-breaking, epoch-making group of artists in the entire history of art. They underwent personal hardship and professional ridicule in dogged pursuit of their artistic vision. They ripped up the rule book, metaphorically pulled their trousers down, and waved their collective derrières at the establishment before setting about instigating the global revolution we now call modern art. Many twentieth-century art movements, such as 1990's Brit Art, have been billed as subversive and anarchic, but in truth were far from it. The respectable looking twentieth-century Impressionist painters, on the other hand, were the original outlaws; they really were subversive and anarchical.
Another fantastic part of this book is the connections reveals between different art styles as a result of modern and contemporary artists being influenced and inspired by those who have come before them. This book is also helping me to understand why I have liked these works all along anyways! For instance I have always enjoyed Edgar Degas's ballerina paintings and bronze sculptures as I danced for a large portion of my life. Whenever I would see one of these works or even a poster of a painting I would always be drawn to its edges, and basically try to peak under the frame or edges for the rest of the scene. I was desperate to know what was being hidden from me. What I was missing out on. You see Degas would severely crop his work taking the action all the way to the edge of the canvas and beyond even cutting dancers in half and hiding more outside the realm of the canvas. Turns out he was inspired to do this by Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints who exercised the same method. I had no idea this connection existed between Impressionism and Japanese woodblocks and love that art can be so universal. (less)
Saint's Gate, the first book in the series had a great plot, and introduced 2 great characters in lush scenery. This book, the second in the series, h...moreSaint's Gate, the first book in the series had a great plot, and introduced 2 great characters in lush scenery. This book, the second in the series, had a somewhat convoluted plot, and 2 kinda boring characters in a lush scenery.
This book picks up right where the first left up, about a month later, and oddly connects Collin's undercover world with Emma's past as a Share Fine Art Recovery agent. These crossovers between their 2 lives I thought would have caused a bit more emotional damage than actually happened. They always came out on top, there was no misunderstandings, no fights, no insecurities. They were just too perfect...thus the boring.
Not sure what happened between the first and second book, except that I read another Neggars book, secrets of the lost summer which I was less that impressed by. Now I am wondering if my dislike of that book has colored my liking of this book.
The one thing that did shine in this book was the secondary characters, especially Collins brothers and Julieanne. They all had minimal roles but they added a lot. I would definitely read a book about Andy and Julianne!!
After this though I don't know that I would read any other book by Neggers, but who knows. (less)
I have never red a book by Carla...moreGood characters? Yes. Interesting plot? Yes. Gorgeous setting? Yes. Believable actions? Yes.
TENSION? SUSPENSE? NO!!!!!!!!
I have never red a book by Carla Neggers before so have no idea what her other books are like but this one had everything going for it except it was just so lackluster in the tension department! Don't get me wrong, there was sexual tension which was nice, but no suspense to the mystery!!! For a vast majority of the book there were no clues, no idea what linked everything together, and there sure as hell wasn't a suspect. As a matter of fact there wasn't a SINGLE SUSPECT. It was just lalalala oh you did it!
This is supposed to be the first in a series of books involving and Sharpe's and Donovan's characters and I think I will read the next one because I love that she is a art detective and him and super undercover master, but dear god the mystery part of these books need to drastically improve. (less)
15 year old teens stealing 97 carat emeralds off the coast of Monaco while on board a mega yacht all the while learning secrets about identical twins,...more15 year old teens stealing 97 carat emeralds off the coast of Monaco while on board a mega yacht all the while learning secrets about identical twins, love triangles, betrayal, and first kisses....
WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE??!
That is basically what this book is about and yet there is so much more! The best part though is that Ally Carter is an amazing author when it comes to growing her characters. All throughout the first book and now the second you really see Katarina 'Kat' Bishop grow as a person, a woman, a thief, and a mastermind. She fesses up to her mistakes, learns from her experiences, recognizes her desires, and just learns from everything. Very rarely are authors able to write GOOD characters that can realize their own faults, abilities, and goals, but Carter is fantastic at it! And of course then there is the rest of her crazy and awesome crew, each with their own great personalities and actual depth considering they are secondary characters. For instance Hale - a guy character that isn't afraid to explain why he is angry, express what he wants, and yet do what he needs. But if Kat doesn't guy what the W's in his name stand for soon it is going to drive me crazy.
I totally enjoyed this book and read it in hours. The super short chapters totally reel you in and you keep thinking to yourself just ONE more chapter then suddenly you look up, see and hour has passed, and you have read almost another 100 pages because you are just so completely sucked in.
This is certainly one of my fave YA series, and I hope you keeps them coming, more heists, more daring cons, and more adorable fluffy moments for Kat and Hale!
Definitely 5 stars! Put it this way, I got this on audiobook from the library, finished it today in the car on the way to work, and stopped at the boo...moreDefinitely 5 stars! Put it this way, I got this on audiobook from the library, finished it today in the car on the way to work, and stopped at the book store on the way home from work to buy a copy to keep. What a great premise! A bunch of preteens pulling off an Ocean's 11 worthy heist all in the name of saving family.
Katerina Bishop (such a fantastic name) is the daughter of Bobby Bishop - one of the world's greatest thief's - and she is well on her way to being the same. She pulled her first job at the age of 5 - granted she only did it for the ice cream her father promised her if she would scream until the authorities came. Her father is accused of stealing 5 paintings from a very bad man who now wants his possessions back or her father will pay a very deadly price. The thing is he didn't do it, but no one knows who did. Her crew - a ragtag team of opposites from the the hot girl, to the billionaire boy, to the super geek - come together to help her pull off a heist to steal back the paintings from a place that is supposedly impossible to steal from.
The book is fast paced and travels the world hitting Las Vegas, Italy, England, and a few more. You are constantly wondering who the mystery thief is, their connection to Kat if their is one, and just how the hell they are pulling off their heists!
This is definitely going onto my re-readable shelf and I can only cross my fingers and hope that there will be a sequel as I still have some unanswered questions, and totally want to read more about Kat, Hale, and their adventures.
This book is beautiful. It features the work of Rob Ryan, the world renowned paper cutting artist and his work that was displayed at the Yorkshire Scu...moreThis book is beautiful. It features the work of Rob Ryan, the world renowned paper cutting artist and his work that was displayed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The photos are stunning! They show the work while it was installed at the park. Also included are shots of Rob's work space, his team working, even his desk. The short essay at the beginning is beautiful and the interview with Rob is great, and a real peak into how Rob see's both himself and his work.
Such a great book!! So glad I purchased it!! (less)
Rob Ryan is such an amazing artist. This book is a wonderful introduction to anyone to the extent of his talents and creativity. It is basically a pic...moreRob Ryan is such an amazing artist. This book is a wonderful introduction to anyone to the extent of his talents and creativity. It is basically a picture book for adults with the dialogue woven directly into the paper cuts.
The story that is revealed through the art is sweet and heart felt, somewhat depressing yet uplifting. Written from the man's perspective it focuses of his loneliness until his mothers tells him that one day he will find the person who will fill the void in his heart. He is strengthened by this and learns to live a happy and creative life, and hopes to one day find the person who will live in his heart alongside him.
This is one of my favorite books that I just pull out and read randomly from time to time. It only takes about 15 minutes to read just the words, but I can sit and pour over it for an hour just looking at the art and absorbing the story.
This would make a fantastic gift for anyone who loves Rob, paper cutting, art in a non-typical medium, a friend, lover, or just whoever! (less)
This is a fantastic decorating book that focuses just on wall paper. The work is divided into different styles, provides various artists/outlets/store...moreThis is a fantastic decorating book that focuses just on wall paper. The work is divided into different styles, provides various artists/outlets/stores that provide those specific papers and others like them.
This is a great source book for inspiration for decorating, scrapbooking, or even quilting! (less)
Bought this on a whim at Murder by the Book, and it seemed pretty interesting in a da Vinci Code kind of way. After reading some of the reviews I am a...moreBought this on a whim at Murder by the Book, and it seemed pretty interesting in a da Vinci Code kind of way. After reading some of the reviews I am a little leery of it though.
I didn't help that before the book even starts the author invites you to go to the end of the novel to try and solve all the clues yourself, and then tells you that even that characters don't figure it out. I like closure, and she just basically told me there won't be any...
*** Update 11.24.09 About 100 pages in and its not looking to good. The author has killed out the most interesting character. Now she is focusing on the 2 main characters who I am finding to be pretty boring and weak. Not to mention the plot is progressing so slowly. 100 pages out of almost 400 and still only 1 clue has been given out. Not to sure if I will be able to finish this, but I am going to try.
***Update 12.3.09 Finished the book solely out of determination and not for any love of the book, interest in the characters, or suspense of the plot. I finished it just so that I could honestly say that I wished I hadn't.
All in all, one word to describe this book is dissapointing.
The author was correct is the beginning with she mentions that the characters don't in fact figure out all there is to the clues, so of course you don't either. The climax wasn't really a climax at all as 1 minute suspense is building, then the next a new chapter has begun and all of the action was skipped over, only to be revisited in a narration style by the other characters instead of getting to experience it with Lucy.
Why oh why did I pay the list price for this book?! Off to the used book store with this one!(less)
The ending seemed a bit anti-climactic, and I just never felt a real connection to the characters this time around....moreDisappointing. Just disappointing.
The ending seemed a bit anti-climactic, and I just never felt a real connection to the characters this time around. It also crazy that the entire book takes place in 1 day. Also, I just got a bit tired of the tragedy, mainly in terms of Peter Solomon. I mean damn, how much can you put 1 character through without them breaking?
I think this one will be going back to the used book store for sure.(less)
Again, just like the daVinci code, if you are going to read this book you have to remember it is a work of fiction. If you don't I promise you will no...moreAgain, just like the daVinci code, if you are going to read this book you have to remember it is a work of fiction. If you don't I promise you will not like it! (less)