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The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game Hardcover – September 1, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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"...The Exquisite Book is nothing short of inspirational."
--Time Out Chicago
"...we love how it's a picture book for adults that is both creatively inspiring and incredibly engaging."
"The foreword by Dave Eggers (What is the What) is enough of a reason to buy this compelling and seriously cool work. What we want to know is: how did the publisher design it for the price?"
---The Weekly Review
"In our current world of straight-jacketed rationality almost to the point of insanity, The Exquisite Book launches us into the madness of possibility and the frightening potential of our own imagination."
About the Author
Dave Eggers is a writer and editor.
Top Customer Reviews
Granted, this book is not perfect, in that the editors definitely should have sent a few pictures back with a "read the rules and try again" note because some artists acted as if they just couldn't be bothered with actually lining up their painting with the page before. Seriously, that's the point of the whole book! Luckily, on balance most DID try to work with the previous images, and in many cases the connections made between multiple images is truly fantastic. Also luckily, even the paintings that are "on their own" are usually good works too. Still, it can be annoying to see a great series of pictures kind of come to a dead end when the next artist maybe uses one tiny line to "connect" and ignores all the interesting possibilities the previous image had!
I'd love to see this project done again in the future with other artists and designers; you really could never run out of things you could do with this concept!
It's a good work to stimulate discussion and ideas which I think is sort of the point of the eponymous game of "exquisite corpse" on which this book is based. I would love to see a similar work executed by fewer artists, perhaps one, in order to see if a clearer vision can emerge. In the end, I liked this book, but just couldn't fully embrace the end result which I found to lean towards incoherence and chaos.
There are a few good visual connections from one page to the next (half of which are shown as the examples on the blog), but much more of it is a disjointed grouping of random illustrations, strung together, but hanging by a thread. Which doesn't make it a terrible book, but it doesn't live up to the expectation created. There's a section in the book where the artists answer different questions about their submissions. Many of them should've been asked why they agreed to be part of a collaboration if they had no intention of cooperating with its one basic premise.
If you're someone like me who does enjoy disjointed groupings of random illustrations, I recommend skipping this one and putting your money toward a Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, or one of the other juried annuals that present a better selection of contemporary illustration. A few of these might turn up there.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for a friend who teaches art to at-risk students. She used it to structure a project with them that was very successful.Published on March 10, 2014 by Marilyn A. Jones
Interesting to see all the creativity. I have it set up in my art room and kids look and look...mostly thinking..."I could do that:)"!Published on February 9, 2014 by Leora Willis
I could just sit for hours and look at this book. I love all of the creativity that went in to all of the designs.
I must say I expected more from this book, not to good paper, not so good pictures, a good Idea....Published on September 18, 2011 by marisopa
A fun artistic collaboration. Love books with pages that fold out - gives me a sense of tactile play as well as a delightful feast for my eyes.Published on September 5, 2011 by Jambo
This book showcases the talents of some wonderful artists - not the least of whom are those who put the whole project together. I love collaborations, and this book is a great one. Read morePublished on March 28, 2011 by Happy Registrar
The Book is amazing! Great concept, perfect execution, nice format. A must for designers, artists and people who love the game approach to important things in life. Read morePublished on January 18, 2011 by Kiril Z
This book is lovely. The impressive compilation of artists weaves together a wonderfully creative masterpiece. Read morePublished on January 9, 2011 by Lila