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Spectrum 18: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Hardcover)) Hardcover – December 6, 2011
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About the Author
Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner are recipients of the Locus Award and World Fantasy Award for SPECTRUM as Best Art Book. In addition to SPECTRUM, the Fenners have edited a number of books celebrating contemporary art, including MIDDLE-EARTH: Visions of a Modern Myth, THE BEST OF GAHAN WILSON and Frank Frazetta's ICON. They live in Overland Park, Kansas.
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The book is well designed and bound. The image quality is high, and the nicely organized artist directory in the back is a nice touch. The editors have offered an excellent range of works, from acrylic models and landscapes, to more conceptual and abstract pieces. The efforts of J.S. Rossbach, Sam Weber, James Gurney, Jon Foster, and Bruce Holwerda's were especially captivating--and Dan dos Santos' contribution was just plain fun.
Having been away from this genre for a while, I was struck my a noticeable decline in the number of more epic scale SF artwork. I don't fault Spectrum 18's editors for this, however. Perusing sites like DeviantART reveals nothing better. It seems that the entire field is in a bit of a decline. I found myself returning to National Geographic's Our Universe (Gallant, 1995) and Doherty's 1980's TOR commissioned artwork to reminisce.
I guess that means I am getting old. :/
I own many of the 18 Spectrum books (one put out each year) and find myself returning to them over and over to look at all the incredible art.
There is an introduction and a few features in the beginning of each book but the images reign supreme.
Other than a credit and brief description of the image (artist, medium, client etc) it is simply page upon page of jaw dropping digital and traditional paintings (and a few photo-manipulations).
There are also sections in each book devoted to sculptures (in mediums of all kinds) that fit the categories above.
The only downside is that some of the images need to be printed fairly small, so I keep a magnifying glass handy if I really want to do some study.
If you have the $$...you'll probably want to start adding these books to your collection.
The books are a must-have for anyone interested in the visual side of the fantasy and science fiction genres, or those who simply enjoy art that engages the brain as well as the eyes. This volume is no exception and is highly recommended.