The Upset is published by Gestalten and I've read that all their art books are edited and designed by designers. It shows. The cover has a nice smooth canvas texture and the illustrations are printed on high quality art matte paper.
Having this book is like having your own contemporary art museum. There are established artists like Mark Ryden, who drew the cover, to exciting new talents. 95 artists contributed to the book. Each artist has a little written about them and there are a few interviews as well.
Painting is the medium of choice here. You won't see any digital works. The few categories of art here are Lowbrow, Gothic, Realism, Illustration, Character, Urban Art, Pattern and Expressionism. While many of the artists are associated with Lowbrow and Neo-Surrealism. Their take on art is one of modern perspective, drawing influences from all sorts of places. Their work in this book is timeless and a refreshing break from the multimedia commercial art scene.
The book might be pricey but it's a satisfying visual treat, great for illustrators and anyone into contemporary art.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Gestalten has created a comprehensive survey of the resurgence of figurative realism that is now overturning the art world, spotlighting the torrent of young contemporary artists who view late 20th century Modernism as a dead-end movement that has reached its logical conclusion and exhausted itself. This new avant-garde is pulling off a come-from-behind "upset" as they turn their backs on the conceptual conceits of the art establishment by adopting the skillful execution last seen in 17th and 19th century painting.
In the late 1990s, Classical Realist ateliers perfected their archaeological recovery effort, and now young artists are reaping the rewards by pointing their bazooka-sized skill sets at contemporary subject matter inspired by science fiction, comic book illustration, street art, and other sources. The Upset offers a who's-who of this broad movement with interviews, biographies and beautifully photographed artwork.
Taking the art world by storm, artists of The Upset like David Kassan and Mark Ryden (who draws inspiration from post-modernism's whipping boys Ingres and Bouguereau) are running circles around the current generation of institutional elites who took great pleasure in declaring the death of painting in the 1960s and '70s.
It seems that the dustbin of history has been flipped over unexpectedly, and if the trends documented in The Upset continue on their current trajectory, in twenty years we may find ourselves looking back on late Modernism as an odd interruption in the continuing two-thousand-year historical narrative of Western painting.
An awesome collection of Lowbrow and Neo-Surrealist artists. Love the layout as each artist has a couple of pages devoted to themselves with works and text. The illustrations are very satisfying and a must for any lover of this art form.
I may say that this book is briliant, from the nice cover treatment to the vibrant illustrations displayed. Is a really great source for inspiration and study. There is a lot of artworks with almost complete informations about it, including the process used in artworks in some cases. A must have for any illustration nerd or maker in this decade. Amazon really makes what they mean in the shipping options, delivered just in the right time to Brazil.
Excellent book that documents surreal, postmodern, haunting and often times brutal artwork that is a follow up to urban art. From big-name artists like Daniel Richter and Martin Eder to more up-and-coming ones, The Upset takes a good chunk of current contemporary artists and adeptly smears their spray cans, sharpies, oil paints and graffiti-based art work across the pages of this gorgeous, wholly unique book.
"The Upset" is a really nice overview of contemporary artists falling under the labels of pop surrealism, lowbrow, street art, and so forth. The book itself is beautiful, with sturdy binding and paper. All of the images are sharp, full-color, and glossy. My one criticism is that it maybe needed an editor with a sharper eye. Reading the introduction, I spotted a couple minor errors, such as using the word "cannon" where it should say "canon". Another reviewer was puzzled at the inclusion of John Currin, and I agree. He seemed a little out of place to me as well, given that he's older and more widely accepted in academia. But I suppose if you're putting together a collection of contemporary figurative artists with a bit of a surrealist bent, the decision to include Currin isn't so terribly out there. Overall, though, I think this book is great, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in alternative trends in contemporary art.
Like I said in the headline, I more-or-less chose this book based on the cover. The front and rear depict (slightly cropped) halves of a haunting piece by Mark Ryden entitled, "Apology." That is not to say that the contents proper are not also a treasure, for they are. This large, sturdy tome is chock-full of a variety of styles of illustration as well as a great deal of explanatory text, some of which is admittedly a bit overblown in its praise and description. I like Gestalten books, generally, and this does not disappoint.
The artists featured in this book are pretty great. Love John Currin, but I'm not sure what he's doing amongst the young and the underground. My only complaint is the writing in this book- reads like a high school senior wrote it. He doesn't shed much light on the subject of his book. Aside from that, excellent collection of artists in a nice big book!