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Chicken: Low Art, High Calorie Paperback – October 28, 2008
Top Customer Reviews
1. chicken purveyors and their signers
2. chicken consumers
3. commercial artists with clients in the poultry industry.
The signage, food, and phrases may not be new and should certainly be familiar to Americans who see fried chicken restaurants all over. What this book does is shows you, what I think to be, the sameness in the world of fast food. The burgers, fries, wings andsandwiches are all familiar. The names are different, as well as the phrasing, but there is no sense of 'other' when looking through the book. It is a well-put together collection of photographs and signage that will make you smile and possibly reminisce about your favorite fried chicken shop.
For instance, many of the 'chicken establishments' offer chicken kebabs along with other Middle Eastern favorites, yet the chicken items are presented with a nod to their origin, whether that be a red, white and blue graphic or the name of a popular USA chicken-famous town. Hughes has a rather extensive interview with a sign maker, one Morris Cassanova (aka Mr. Chicken) that rings with both bite and humor while defending the use of the American influence to market his product.
The design of the book as well as the choices of placement of signs with menus along side photos of shop owners and the countless images that represent American chicken make for a tasty book that will satisfy not only students of graphic design and sociology, but also those of us with a sense of humor about one of our 'sacred icons' - a lasting food offering even with the advent of 'health foods!' This is a delightful art book with a strong message that will leave the reader smiling and a bit embarrassed about how the world views the USA. Grady Harp, March 09