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It Is Beautiful -- Then Gone Paperback – August 16, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
This volume's introductory essay, written as Venezky methodically packs his collection of found objects for a move from his longtime San Francisco home, posits an existential question: "If the page is a frozen moment, then what came before and what will happen once the page is turned?" As much a collection of meditations on the author's process as it is a document of his work, this book works toward an answer by illuminating the principles that guide this accomplished designer, whose work has appeared in the SFMoMA publication Open and the literary journal Speak. Venezky's work yields little to cursory viewing, at first seeming to resemble the computer-enabled (and largely illegible) layering of the early 1990s. This resemblance is but a matter of context. Far from being beholden to or reliant upon digital tools, Venezky's relationship with technology is complicated by his preoccupation with process. Collaborator and design critic Karen Levine points out that "Venezky takes an almost Luddite view of his mechanical palette, nearly always preferring the ninety-nine-cent drugstore gadget to the state of the art." And a deeper look at the volume's many color illustrations reveals a nuanced and highly manual method. If Venezky's process is immersion, so too is his relationship with the objects he culls for his collages and assemblages. They completely envelop his personal surroundings, as illustrated in a meticulously annotated gatefold depicting his collection. And if the rhetorical question posited in the introduction receives no definitive answer in these pages, readers will nonetheless relish the opportunity to view Venezky's work for what it is: a deeply invested series of design explorations into the living process that surrounds the "frozen monument" of every page.
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"With essays, notebook entries, photographs, and Venezky's enormous collection of ephemera, it is a fresh take on a designer's work and mindset. It is not just a history of his work, but a look into his thought process in design and in life." Step Inside Design