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Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199581115
ISBN-10: 0199581118
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Editorial Reviews

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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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Product Details

  • 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: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Martin Kemp is a distinguished scholar and art historian best known for his writings on Leonardo da Vinci but also respected for his research on imagery in art and science. In this sophisticated by highly readable book he shares his insights in obsessively researched subjects, analyzing why we like things, how we subliminally come to recognize them, and why an image or object sustains time to become an icon. Kemp states 'an iconic image has come to carry a rich series of varied associations for very large numbers of people across time and cultures transgressing the parameters of its initial making, function, context, and meaning.'

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Accessible writing style, for sure. A reasonable survey of what this author thought where our western icons. The intro explains how he made is choices and includes his commentary on the more modern influences on our opinions - also an interesting essay in its own right.
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Format: Hardcover
I remember the double death deal days. Something serious could produce an outburst of unruly aftermath in people who have not been properly schooled in how culture handles these things like a high horse eating its way through hair. The time has come to write in free association with an artistic product which allows a tremendous triumph of therapeutic ideals over the feeling that God and God's own screw leaders who consider themselves partners in America will all come crashing down together. If there was a class at Harvard Law School, where I got JD in 1973, called commercial transactions, I did not take it. My father was a minister who tried to undo some of the damage caused to the holy universal Christian church by Martin Luther by participating in the merger of denominations which formed the United Church of Christ from Evangelical and Reformed churches, which was a continuation of his German Reformed religious upbringing, with Congregational Christian churches. People joining together seemed to be the main idea with significance in a culture that was about to throw everything else away so it could settle down in front of a TV, discover the internet, and then go places with a mobile phone. The Jesus Christ I grew up with was like the son of a Roman soldier in a society which could only worship him by handing him over to those who designated him King of the Jews in an act of irony and crucifixion. The relationship between Jesus and his father was entirely driven by ego.

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.
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