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Spectrum 19: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Paperback – December 4, 2012
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"Spectrum is a compendium of wonders-a treasure-hoard of incalculable value. Over the years, these books have provided me with an enormous amount of inspiration: fantastical images that have suggested and enriched my stories. I can't recommend Spectrum enough. Buy this book now and revel in the dreams within."
--Christopher Paolini, Bestselling author of the Inheritance Cycle
"The latest Spectrum annual surpasses all expectations with stunning fantasy art."
"...a feast for the eye and the imagination." --New Times
"[Spectrum] most definitely belongs in the library of any art lover or artist."
--Airbrush Art + Action
"A full color presentation of the current state of the art-charming, sublime, exotic, horrific..."
"The best annual out there!"
--James Gurney, creator of Dynotopia
"I’m hooked ... This is a fantastic book." --The Fringe
"If you are a lover of fantastic art this is the ONE book you must have each year!"
"A dandy look at the year in contemporary fantastic art ... highly recommended."
-Green Man Review
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 R/EVOLUTION: The Art of Jon Foster, ORIGINS: The Art of John Jude Palencar, THE BEST OF GAHAN WILSON and Frank Frazetta's ICON, LEGACY, TESTAMENT and TELLING STORIES. They live in Overland Park, KS.
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As the title suggests Spectrum 19 focuses on "Fantastic" Art. And I would further define that by saying most of it falls loosely in the following categories: Fantasy (ala Lord of the Rings - goblins, fairies, elves and so on); Science-Fiction (including space scenes, robots, aliens etc); "Dark" subjects like skeletons, witches, demons and the like; cartoony / comic pieces; Knights and faire maidens, castles and lotz and lotz of dragons in all shapes and sizes and temperaments. :)
The artists represented work in all kinds of mediums including traditional (like oil and acrylic painting) and lots of digital painting (Photoshop, Painter etc). As with past issues...there is a section with photographs of sculptures too.
I'd read at least one review that almost dissuaded me from buying this year's Spectrum but after I looked through Spectrum 18 again...I decided to get it.
It is certainly has not been a disappointment! Spectrum 19 is over 300 pages with some of the most inspiring, exciting, art I've seen. I've already been sitting with a magnifying glass going through the images and am stunned by the creativity, color, concepts, "story" etc in many, many of the images.
I've studied art history and believe that this era WILL be remembered for its amazing art.
If you are an artist yourself...especially one working in Fantastic art...you will be inspired by this book.
A note about the claim that Spectrum is filled with art that is photo-referenced: First I'll say that generally I do not have a problem with this technique. I read once that artists are not supposed to be good "memorizers". So why not use photography as a tool.
On the other hand...unless there is a secret world where people photograph robots of all shapes and sizes, huge trolls and four armed giants, elephant-type beasts with six tusks, space-ships and cities, dinosaurs, demons, and bizarre creatures beyond what most of us can imagine...to say that the majority of this art is from a photo reference is far from the truth.
Yes, there are a few amazing examples of this type...but they are vastly outweighed by all the other artwork...obviously created primarily from the artist's imagination.
As for the content, its perfecly fine. I know most of them, the ones i dont know are excellent, and some are amazing and inspiring. Not to mention i could look up a lot of artists and see there work on the web. Not sure what anyone is expecting , but if i have to mention something bad, maybe it would be the small pictures. A half page picture is ok, but less is not. It should have only full page (or 2 page) pictures and at best half page ones.
For the record, I am not an art student or aficionado or whatever. I was simply looking for contemporary fantasy art and stumbled upon Spectrum. Love it.