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Phyllis Galembo: Maske Hardcover – September 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905712170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905712175
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If there is any book out there right now that truly justifies why art and photo books still exist, it's got to be Phyllis Galembo's Maske. I love this book!" --D. Scot Miller, San Francisco Bay Guardian

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Traditionally autumn in many countries celebrates All Hallows' Eve, a day that has become so commercial that it almost outdoes Christmas. But go to the source, the beginnings of this celebration, and there we find a connection with the spirits - those vague images that plead understanding or even cognizance.

Phyllis Galembo, likely more than any investigator artist, has spent considerable time seeking knowledge of the spirit rituals of both Africa and the Caribbean, places where people are more sensitive to the things they cannot explain but feel the need to placate or honor. This beautifully designed book features over one hundred highly color-saturated photographs of the costumes created and worn by the peoples of various cultures. Organized in chapters according to regional traditions and customs, Galembo has gained permission from the people to make these extraordinary photographs.

There is no sense of mocking or of inappropriate marketing of these costumed people: Galembo has been gathering these images for over 25 years and during that time she has become a confidant, an artist with the ability to transmit trust to the people she visits and coaxes into being photographed. The costumes are highly creative and richly colorful - for lack of a better comparison think Tim Burton or Federico Fellini or Julie Taymor - and incorporate the entire boy in the costume paraphernalia. The costumes, by chapter, are from Nigeria, Haiti, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin. The materials of the costumes vary form natural products, built from wood accents, body paint, richly colorful fabric - most anything available to create these otherworldly characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By uncletwinkie on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phyllis Galembo is to be celebrated for her superlative photos of African costumery, thereby showing us the fantastic, fabulous, imaginative genius of the people she photographs. I'm in awe of such creativity. I must say, though, that the book was a disappointment. Its production did not live up to its subject. The photos themselves are fine - although I did expect a somewhat larger format, but there is something flat & ordinary about the dust jacket; the white background, the lack-luster font, in fact the general design, but, more important to me, is the inconsistent photo display. Some pages have photos on each side, most have photos on one side, with a blank reverse side. Its unprofessional appearance cheapens the presentation and gives the impression that the publisher wanted to make the book thicker than (to my mind) it should rightfully be.
This is simply to forewarn, not to discourage, would-be buyers. The costumes are delightful, inventive, utterly wonderful. In spite of my somewhat serious quibbles with the production of the book, I'm still glad to have it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Smith on May 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What I like about these images is the way in which Galembo uses traditional West African Portraiture strategies to capture this insurgent, temporal and potent spirits. Gorgeous images of visual strategies that are so sophisticated as to blow contemporary Western Art way away. Fantastic. I only wish there was a little more scholarly text to accompany the images. And it would be cool if there were behind the scenes images that reveal the way in which Galembo got these images. It could not have been easy. What a privilege. Nice book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By paper doll on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great ideas come from great images. This book has something as I've never seen them though I've been to quite a few museums. The images are clear and speak for themselves. Had an imagination high just by flipping through the pages. Good way to submerge into a new world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jen on March 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arrived fast, not over packaged. So glad I bought this book; the costumes in it are inspiring and truly creative, made from all sorts of materials that one in our material western world might otherwise overlook. A very inspirational photo book for anyone interested in fashion, costumes and other cultures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James I. Cole on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hardcover, Plain Card Boards with Photographic DJ, 9.5" x 9", 208 Pages, 94 full-page color photos of masquerade masks & costumes, (71 depictions from Africa and 23 from Haiti), 7 Pages of text. Introduction by Chika Okeke-Agulu Original pricing : 30 Pounds (UK), $45 (US) Published by Chris Boot, 2010.

From the back cover : " 'Maske' is an album of Phyllis Galembo's powerful and thrilling masquerade photographs from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Zambia, and Haiti." And these portraits are indeed powerful and thrilling...Okay - It's true that the photographs are posed and static, and it's also true that there is too little in the way of descriptions of each costume, and...yes...the presentation is a little spare and unbalanced....BUT.....the images themselves are striking and visceral works of art. The photographs have a wonderful dreamlike quality, as if they were tribal art seen through the lens of David Lynch. The book features vibrant, beautifully lit mask and costume art, modeled by almost entirely anonymous people, captured in a photographic museum which appeals to the tribal art lover in me, but which I honestly believe will appeal to all lovers of art and photography.

Please see past the books faults to appreciate a simply wonderful book, which has immediately become one of my favorite portrayals of "Man As Art".
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