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You ll find all sorts of things in Helguera s Manual that aren t in any other book: the difference between an A-level artist and a B-level artist, how to cure the dreaded festivalist syndrome, how to keep your conviction that you re the greatest artist in history, and whether it is ethical for a critic to sleep with an artist whose work she doesn t like. This is a very funny book. It masquerades as an old-fashioned guide to the manners and foibles of the art world, written by a savvy twenty-first century artist. But it is clever, and has many voices: snide like Miss Manners, sweet and impeccable like Emily Post, hapless like Bouvard and Pecuchet, earnest like an Art World for Dummies, sharp like Swift s encyclopedia of cliches, sneaky like David Wilson s fabricated documents for the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Helguera s tongue seems to be in his cheek that s what you re meant to think but he is often very helpful, and everything he says is true. --James Elkins, author of How to Use your Eyes and Our Beautiful, Dry and Distant Texts: Art History as Writing. In the process of writing the rules of the game, Helguera also skewers its participants. --Rebeca Spence, ArtNews An artist who dares to look at the big picture ...[Helguera] has a savvy understanding of art history and art audiences, enough to know that a little humor and a bit of irony are sometimes the best tools in an artist arsenal. --Barbara Pollack, artist and writer
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