The Purple Book.
The Purple Book is a collection of contemporary artwork that explores facets such as eroticism, sensuality and the dream-state in current visual arts. By combining the sensual and symbolic works with fiction that also exhibits these ideas and as well as artist interviews, authors Angus Hyland and Angharad Lewis have created a fantastic compendium of Contemporary Art and Illustration.
Laurence King Publishing sent me a copy of The Purple Book after I came across it on one of the artist’s websites who is included within, Martine Johanna. The large book features 250 color reproductions by twenty-five contemporary illustrators and, thanks to the books size, makes the illustrations a treasure trove of inspiration for the curious eye. One is able to closely inspect the detailed art of artists such as Vania Zouravliov, Makiko Sugawa or Soey Milk. Soey Milk’s work being one of the main highlights of the book.
Along with the fantastic art The Purple Book features artist interviews where the topics of discussion ponder over the current attitudes of illustration, art making and what influences them. Vania Zouravliov’s interview is a wonderful inclusion as interviews with him are quite the rarity. The book also features brand new work by Vania and other artists specifically commissioned for inclusion. Among the other artists interviewed are Laura Laine, Jules Julien, Andrzej Klimowski and Martine Johanna.
The Purple Book’s inspiration comes from a late 19th century publication known as The Yellow Book which was directed by the illustrator/wild man Aubrey Beardsley for a short period of time. While yellow in the 1890s suggested daring attitudes it was chosen that purple now suggests the salacious and sensual motifs of contemporary times. The Yellow Book combined writing with erotic, dreamy illustration and in respectful tradition The Purple Book has done the same.
The volume is tied together with Angharad Lewis’s wonderful introduction that gives a short history of the symbolic, surrealist and sensual since The Yellow Book and how the modern eye is inspired to create now.
The Purple Book offers an incredible amount of inspiration and awe as I’m sure Hyland and Lewis set out to present. The book is one I’ll return to often, not only to gaze upon the art but also as reference thanks to the interviews and introduction. The Purple Book is available at Laurence King Publishing and on Amazon.
Check out a preview of the book below:
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