I bought this book on a whim, having read a blog post about Bathgate's scuplture, which led me to the book itself. Bathgate's machined sculptures are, to my mind, the stuff of sci-fi dreams, with cool, inviting surfaces and contours joined with precision fits and imagined purposes. Just take a gander at the images on his website ([...]) and ponder, if just for a moment, how in the world you might be able to scratch together the $6K+ needed for one of his amazing creations.
I hoped the book would be as slick and finely honed as his sculptures, with glossy pictures and diagrams interspersed with tightly worded descriptors and illuminating context. I wanted it to be an interesting addition to the coffee table, a simple stand-in I could afford in lieu of one of his precious works of art.
The cover was promising: heavy grade paper with a high gloss finish, featuring one of his more appealing works. Then I opened the book. To my utter disappointment, what I in fact got was a very poor quality design-and-print job, which may have been intended for sale entirely via print-on-demand. The edit is poor. The font choice is poor. The formatting is just plain awful. And worst of all--because it affects your impression of the art itself--is the image reproduction on poor quality paper that apparently has no coating on it to protect the print from smudges, fading ... or even inadvertent fingernail scratches. I swear, I just lightly scraped the dark background of one of the pictures and it left a bright vertical scratch, effectively ruining the picture.
Curious that an artist with such attention to detail would create such an amateurish book to represent his art. Unless this book gets some serious, professional publishing treatment in a revised edition, you would be far better off just visiting his website and saving a few bucks to go toward the purchase of real art--or a real book.
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