I don't pretend to have any great knowledge of art. I fall into that category of, "I know what I like when I see it" crowd. Having seen a few examples...moreI don't pretend to have any great knowledge of art. I fall into that category of, "I know what I like when I see it" crowd. Having seen a few examples of Dali's work at various museums around the world, I tend to enjoy its boldness, vivid colors, and usually clear, almost picture-like clarity of images. But until reading this book (not just look at the pictures) I didn't realize just how much lay behind the limp watches, phallic symbols, and other famous images of his work.
I still can't decide if Dali was brilliant, insane, or simply a huge egomaniac with a brush, but it really doesn't matter. He had a huge impact on the art world of the 20th century and I thought this book, while not intended to be a complete biography of the man, served adequately to give a good taste of him and even provided some insight into his character. And if you just want to look at the artwork, that is beautifully presented here.(less)
For years now I've owned this "coffee table" book, "Arizona Landmarks" by James E. Cook. By "coffee table" book, I mean those large oversized books th...moreFor years now I've owned this "coffee table" book, "Arizona Landmarks" by James E. Cook. By "coffee table" book, I mean those large oversized books that are mostly filled with beautiful pictures and perfect for thumbing through when you visit a friend's house. And they usually look good sitting there on the table. It is my guess that these are usually decorative books only and very few get read or even looked through. And that's a shame. "Arizona Landmarks" is just such a book and, in fact, when I looked at the inside of the front cover I noticed I had annotated it when we first purchased the book. It was during a trip to Arizona in June 1990. In 19 years I had not read that book and truth be told, we have quite a few more like them on the shelf although we generally don't buy them anymore.
This book is absolutely gorgeous. It was produced by the "Arizona Highways" magazine people and uses photos from their long history as well as current photos from all sources. The contrast is uniquely cool. There is also a fair amount of text in here as well, serving to tell some of the history of the various regions of the state as well as the geographic history of the land itself. The book is divided into several major sections including "deserts", "canyons", "mountains", and "plateaus." I have traveled in Arizona on quite a few occassions, especially when I was a boy. I remember seeing such natural beauty as the Painted Desert, Salt River Canyon, Petrified Forest, and of course the Grand Canyon. But most of my memories were of long ago and to tell the truth, were mostly views from the highway. This book, especially the pictures within that defy the written word serve only to increase my desire to return to Arizona. That's what a good "coffee table" book should do.(less)