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Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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"This gorgeously reproduced overview of the work of American modernist Charley Harper is a labor of love from Todd Oldham. ... Oldham's tribute to his hero (who died in 2007, at age 84) floats on the wings of these beautiful creatures and Harper's expressive, one-of-a-kind talent." —NPR
About the Author
Distinguished as an innovator of accessible design, Todd Oldham is the founder of Todd Oldham Studio, a full-service design firm. Originally a New York fashion designer and host on MTV's “House of Style,” Todd's career has evolved to include all areas of design—from interior design, film, and photography to furniture, graphic art, and product design. Todd is also the author of several books, including “Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life,” “Wayne White,” “Kid Made Modern,” “Hand Made Modern,” and "Joan Jett."
Top Customer Reviews
|Length: 0:30 Mins|
The painting of birds caught my attention with the clean smooth lines which resembles vector work. His colour choices are from observation in life and the resulting image is always bold and striking. Many of his pieces are on nature.
The author Todd Oldham only discovered Charley Harper's work in 2001. Since then, he has been collecting all the work he has ever published. The result is this impressive 424-page book that collects work that span the entire career of Charley Harper. It includes the commissions he done for Ford Motors, schools, advertising agencies, etc.
There are two editions for this art book. The first is a 5.5kg book published in 2007, the year Charley Harper passed away. The newer edition, which I have, is the shrunken down version which is lighter, more handy and affordable. The construction of the book is great and all the illustrations are brilliantly reproduced.
The contents are as follows:
* Conversation with Charley Harper
* Betty Crocker's Dinner For Two Cook Book
* The Giant Golden Book of Biology
* The Animal Kingdom
* Ford Times Magazine
* Birds & Words
* Advertising & Promotions
* Mosaic Murals
There's a nice long interview written by Todd Oldham which is also translated in French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Charley Harper has published a few books before so there might be some duplication here. If you're just intent on getting one book, make this the one. It's a beautiful, timeless art book.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
It arrived in a lovely black & white patterned box to protect it during shipping, which is also useful for storage. As far as printing quality goes, it looks very similar to my vintage encyclopedia set from the 1960s - I have a feeling that they chose the matte paper for this reason. Yes, the colors are not as vibrant as the online preview (or the glossy pages of Audubon magazine), and yes, many of the images look like enlarged scans from previously-printed sources. You can see the blown-up halftone and a bit of a blurry edge on many illustrations. The photos of his wonderful mosaics need some color adjustment and look better online.
However, the whites are crisp and the blacks are pure black, and I'm not disappointed (I'm a picky OCD graphic designer too). My favorite aspects of this book are the creative spread layouts, the sketches & "in-progress" material, and the sheer volume & range of works contained in this book. It's an expensive book, but it's a deal when you consider the individual price of prints. In many cases, the prints will be about the same size as these pages anyways!
HOWEVER. The book is printed on thick paper with a matte finish, and the result is disappointing for anyone who has seen the real pieces. The colors are muddy and dull, not at all like the bright colors Charley used, and the images lack the crisp lines that are the hallmark of serigraph prints. Glossy paper helps keep the colors bright and the lines sharp. This book has a hefty weight and a luxurious feel, but the images suffer substantially.
I hope that Todd Oldham and the printers will consider a second printing on glossy paper. Buy this book if you want to spend $200-$400 for a comprehensive look at Charley Harper's amazing work. But if you really want to enjoy his style, spend $50 for the smaller selection in "Beguiled by the Wild."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The pages are completely detached from the spine of the book.Published 7 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I really like this book. It's got lots of Charley's art, and is well organized. I was a little disappointed by the size (the book is rather small), but it has a lot of wonderful... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michelle
It is a beautiful book and I enjoy and get inspired whenever I look thru it.Published 5 months ago by Suzanne Vimislik
I only wish the images were a higher resolution, some of them are extremely fuzzyPublished 6 months ago by Gaby castillo
There is nothing wrong with this book; it is really quite nice But, realize you are buying the MINI edition, NOT the 12 lb full format coffee table book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by TopPicks