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Maya Color: The Painted Villages of Mesoamerica Hardcover – 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A moving, visual exploration . . . -- Elle Decor

More than merely a collection of beautiful photographs of the region. Just as it was for the first Mayan people who deified golden corn, color is symbolically significant for the Maya of Mexico and Central America, even today. Becom's photographs illustrate these beliefs and a vivid text brings ancient murals, shaman rituals, Days of the Dead festivals, blood red altars and painted tombs into sharp anthropological focus. -- San Francisco Examiner, May 17, 1998

This is the rare picture book with text as good as the photos. -- Detroit Free Press

About the Author

Jeffrey Becom is a contemporary renaissance man--painter, photographer, and writer--whose work is exhibited widely. He was the focus of a PBS film entitled For the Colors, on the traditional architecture and decoration of Italy. He is also the author of Maya Color published by Abbeville Press.

Jeffrey Becom is a contemporary renaissance man--painter, photographer, and writer--whose work is exhibited widely. He was the focus of a PBS film entitled For the Colors, on the traditional architecture and decoration of Italy. He is also the author of Maya Color published by Abbeville Press.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; 1st edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789202158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789202154
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeffrey Becom is a sensational photographer. The images which he offers in Maya Color are almost without exception a feast for the eyes. His talent runs in many directions and so we are presented here with an extraordinary portfolio of work which demonstrates a painterly feel for texture, a highly trained sense of unique and unusual composition, and most importantly, an appreciation for color that is second to none. Were I to try and attempt a comparison, I might liken his artistic sensibility to Rothko who, like Becom, was devoted to the representation and linear juxtaposition of bands of saturated hue in subtle and evocative combination.
By his own account, Becom's emphasis in Maya Color is on the painted wall. Thus he made the decision early in this project to restrict himself to documenting the use of color as an expression of architectural form as opposed to presenting a more varied collection of images. So the Maya people and the landscape they inhabit are only of secondary interest in this study. At least photographically speaking.
The text, on the other hand, devotes considerable attention to what is left out of the selection of photographs. To my way of thinking, this choice was unfortunate. Particularly because the extensive descriptions are terribly over-written and what is being described could have been more easily conveyed by the image than the word. For example, there is a long piece in chapter one which describes a journey through the jungle to reach the ruins of Bonampak in the Mexican State of Chiapas. The writing here relies upon the use of countless adjectives in an ungainly attempt to convey and evoke the feeling of trudging through the fetid, overgrown, swamp-like morass of vegetation.
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Format: Hardcover
This book incorporates the visual effects of the bright colors of the Maya architecture,with a written text relating to the meaning of colors used in their painting. I found this to be not only a visual but a literary depiction of the Maya pople. I enjoy this book very much
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply lovely color photographic images made in South America by a Monterey photographer with a fine eye. The color combinations, created by villagers, are amazing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful photographs, as well as meaningful and thoughtful. The photos, in conjunction with descriptions and documentation of scenes and settings, people, culture and customs makes it doubly beautiful. Anyone interested in the fascinating and colorful Mayan culture will love this book. Anyone who is interested in exceptional photography will love this book too.
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