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James Bama: American Realist Hardcover – October 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
At the time, it was hard to learn much about James Bama, much less the significant role he played in making these repackaged 30's pulp stories bestsellers for a contemporary audience. Indeed, any artist who worked for the paperback market in those days had to confront the reality that the publishing world considered them hired guns at best, and getting a credit line of tiny-font text on the back of the title page was about all the acknowledgement they could expect to receive.
James Bama: American Realist is therefore a timely, and handsomely produced, overview of Bama's art. Over the course of 7 sections, it covers his work in commercial art in the 60s and early 70s, and his subsequent career in studio art since that time.Read more ›
Interspersed with Kane's biographical text are quotes by some pretty powerful artists, such as Evertt Raymond Kinstler (who has known Bama since they were both 15), Boris Vallejo and Mark Schultz, not to mention dozens of quotes and observations by Bama himself, but it's the color illustrations that this book is really all about.
If you're a Doc Savage fan you not only get all of Bama's amazing Doc covers, but a number of the Steve Holland photo shoots that inspired them. What I particularly like is that in many cases you can compare the photo to the painting and see what Bama adds to each; his innate sense of color and design, the way the figures in his paintings glow with some inner strength that is not present in the photos. Some people say that Bama just paints reality, this book should remove that notion from their heads.
Bama abandoned the commercial art world at the height of his career in the 1970s and this book covers both of his careers. It's dominated by his commercial work but there is plenty of his fine art work as well. Like I said, this book is complete.
You open the book and you are bowled over by a portrait of Robert Kennedy and I wonder, "How can Bama paint hope?" Maybe it's in the eyes or the gesture of the hand, whatever, it makes a immediate and powerful impact. And it's just the first of the many treasures to be found within.
This is an expensive book, particularly if you are going to just flip through once and put it aside. However, if you keep art books handy, and periodically take them down to re-experience them, this one is worth the price of admission. It has been produced with the same care and attention that Mr. Bama puts into his art. And, if you do know Mr. B. only from the paperback covers, there will be some surprises in this volume.
OK, so you're the flip-through type, but you've got the bucks? Buy a copy of this for your local or favorite library!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
James Bama. What can I say, one of my favorite artists since I bought my first Doc Savage paperback in the 60's. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Robin Pleak
I've wanted this book for years, finally have it, and it's in beautiful condition. Thank you!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
James Bama's Doc Savage work was a major influence on me as a child and it is great to have a collection of his work that does not focus soley on his fine art Western art (although... Read morePublished on December 23, 2012 by Dale E. Dodson
A great overview of the artists work. Would have liked to see more of his western art. Saw it in the museum and was awestruck. I thought his native americans were a photograph.Published on November 25, 2012 by Brad Stephens
I'll make this quick. Everything cool has been said already. I've used
this book as an inspiration and a reference tool. Read more
this is one of the most important books for any aspiring artist. it is not an instruction book but just being able to view the fantastic works of James Bama will inspire an artist... Read morePublished on March 24, 2010 by Robert M. Link
Bama is an american treasure. His work in this format spans a-z. From earliest to latest, which most people who are fans of western art already know. Read morePublished on November 28, 2009 by Darrell L. Gettys