- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 10, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199581118
- ISBN-13: 978-0199581115
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon 1st Edition
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[F]ascinating...exploring how and why we like things, how we subliminally come to recognize them, and why an image or object or idea achieves longevity." --ARTnews
"Recommended for all those interested in iconography, art history, advertising, and branding." - Library Journal
"Kemp's outstanding book is likely to remain a fixed point of reference in this important cultural debate, making it an icon of sorts as well." -- California Literary Review
"Kemp easily navigates high art and kitsch, and complicated scientific discoveries and sociology and cultural history...a useful template to use when we pose the very provocative question of what makes certain images become icons." -- Iconia, Houston Chronicle.com
"Christ to Coke is easy to read, written in a thoughtful but conversational style...and loaded with gorgeous images...those curious about how images 'go viral,' to borrow a contemporary term, will find themselves hooked." -- ARTINFO
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Kemp then proceeds to present eleven universally recognized images and explores how they began and then developed into what we now see as icons. What makes Kemp's reading so warm is his readily admitting that one of the chief sources of information for his book came from the Internet - an aspect of his thinking that immediately places him in the approachable stance of most readers today. His 'icons' to be examined begins obviously enough with the Christ image - face, body and cross- images that no matter how many centuries have passed still are very much a part of our art and architecture and literature. He points out that religious icons appeal to our historical and emotional underpinnings. But then he moves into areas that are indeed iconic but have followed different paths to hold their position - the Heart as in I Heart NY) etc, the Lion, Mona Lisa, Che, a potent Vietnam War photograph, the Stars and Stripes, Coke (the bottle as well as the beverage), DNA helix, Einstein's E=mc2, and Fuzzy Formulas. It then becomes obvious that rather than simply conjuring images he also has addressed art history, science, sociology, technology, philosophy, religion, politics, advertising, graphic design, and even more areas of thought.
But what makes this book, illustrated with over 150 richly colorful images, more than a treatise is the deeply humanistic touch with which he addresses every icon, every topic from invention to accidentals to discoveries, never letting the reader forget that the icons we have created came form our own needs and desperate desire to understand what makes us tick. This is an impressive book, rich in content and thought and presentation. Grady Harp, November 11
Like Jesus overturning the tables of the money-changers, I was likely to screw things up royally if I tried to take any part in commercial transactions. The American government is likely to get blamed for messing with all the fine structure of financial transactions that got stuck in the nothingness bank when commercial paper was likely to break the buck. America, as a land of economic opportunity, was most likely to mirror the art rich economics of legendary heritage trying to surf on the wake of military triumph.
What a beautiful schmirror.
Governments that are founded upon laws imagine that rules can work to keep a complex system in line with its objectives. The political economy of banana republics is more likely to be a therapeutic cue for appreciating highly educated spear chucker lip in the White House. Medical care as a field for the invention of drugs that can straighten out the thinking of individuals has now been stretched to treat risk factors like high blood pressure to reduce the number of heart attacks. Any patient with severe heart disease needs to keep their blood pressure low, but an aging population of overweight juice clowns might as well wait for death lying down.
Icons are supposed to produce an attitude of prayer. Worship as a context for prayer was one of the justifications of my father for his own personification of a pastor.
Give us a green zone, God.
You gave us Gettysburg, God.
Give us a green zone.
My own role in considering the American court system part of the fine structure for determining that a restraining order is needed to prevent some Americans from hunting down and killing women and children resonates strongly with the double death deal on April 19 in 1993 and 1995. About 80 Branch Davidians probably died in a fire near Waco, Texas, including some women and children, and then 168 people died when an explosion destroyed the federal building, including its day care center for children, in Oklahoma City. Killing women and children who are family members might be considered an individual cure for a sexual affliction like hemlock was a cure that ended the desire of Socrates to keep speaking. My four children have grown up and half of them are married now. They see no reason for me to have a large collection of books that cover topics like:
7 Napalmed and Naked
in Martin Kemp, Christ To Coke/How Image Becomes Icon (Oxford University Press, 2012).
As part of an art rich culture, Martin Kemp makes the claim:
I am prepared to argue that
within their defined types
each of the chosen images
has an arguable case to be
the most famous, and would
deserve serious consideration
in anyone's list. (p. 7).
General Nguyen Ngoc Loan
Executing a Viet Cong
Prisoner in Saigon, 1968. (p. 208).
From a song:
Napalm Sticks to Kids
See the hippies upon the hills
Smoking grass and popping pills.
Don't they know that drugs can kill,
Yo, Oh! Napalm sticks to kids. (p. 209).
Art is looking for something that can inspire reasoning like:
Why has Ut's photograph
emerged from so many
millions of `Nam' images
to become the defining one?
Or even emerged from trillions
of war photographs or trillions
of trillions of press photographs
and so on? (p. 218).
Expecting to creep toward consensus on matters that are highly subjective gets all tangled up with war on drugs, tobacco, sexuality, and the lack of respect for authority that makes anyone who contemplates ruling as crazy as the kind of people who think that everybody loves them.