Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lifestyle Illustration of the 60's by Rian Hughes


The book says:

Take a visually explosive trip back to the Swinging Sixties... This stunning survey of lifestyle illustration not only gives a fascinating insight into the extraordinary artistic talents of the illustrators of the period but also reveals the social aspirations of this unprecedented era of political optimism and sexual freedom. Featuring over 1,000 gloriously inventive and stylistically diverse images, Lifestyle Illustration of the 60's traces the decade's evolution from romantic homemaking couples to the stylish mini-skirted Chelsea girls. In the process, it provides an intriguing and colourful glimpse into Sixties pop culture.

I say:

Wow - this is a monster of a book. Apart from the foreword by Rian Hughes, the Introduction by David Roach and a couple of pages of short artist biographies, the entire book is made up of art work. The only other text being the year, the artist name and where the art appeared underneath each picture. In a book that is 576 pages long... that's 563 pages of pure art... 1,000 images in all according to this website.

This is not a book to be lugging around to read - it weighs a ton! This is one to sit and enjoy at your leisure, dipping in and out for inspiration or just to enjoy. I do like that it is soft backed because, although the cover is prone to creasing easily - mine is thoroughly creased now, not the spine as you might think but the front cover - I do still think it was a better idea. Being heavy already, I think hardback covers might have made it cumbersome to read.

The book is truly gorgeous - I can't even begin to imagine how much time it took to compile. All of the artwork comes from publications like Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Journal and the timeline ranges from 1960 - 1969. The Foreword and Introduction is a fascinating insight into these 'forgotten artists' and what was happening at the time. I've always loved this style of art and this book is cram packed full of nostalgia for me. Although I wasn't even born in the 60's, I remember as a child of the 80's and early 90's, my mum used to be an avid reader of The People's Friend which was always full of similar style art. I remember flicking through, completely bypassing the words and just ogling the pictures, trying to recreate them.

What I particularly like is that although the art provoked such nostalgia, I was surprised also at how thoroughly modern some of it was - like it could have been submitted today and I doubt many people would know any different, would not even think that it was created 40 years or more previously.
Some of the art just seems so on-trend with what I'm seeing on blogs, on Etsy & Folksy, pinned as inspiration on Pinterest. Isn't it funny how things come around again... or, as I prefer to say - the rest of the world finally caught up with my tastes.

So - do I like this book? No, I absolutely LOVE it - it's a keeper and one that will be close to hand on my art shelves, within easy reach. It's so full of inspiration and beauty and talent. I feel lucky to own it.

Many thanks to ACC Distribution for sending me the book and thank you as always for stopping by :)

Rian Hughes
ACC Distribution UK

6 comments:

  1. WOW that all looks amazing. Hope you are all doing OK and wishing you a Merry Christmas. Looking forward to all the secret Santy unveiling including recipient reactions :)

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  2. I've been waiting for your review of this book - I saw it was on your sidebar and I looked it up on Amazon. It looked amazing on there, so I was really interested to hear what you thought of it. Just what I thought - it looks brilliant and definitely one to go on my wish list (it is my birthday soon-ish - next December :D - so I think I really should treat myself!!). The images are so nostalgic, but, as you say, they could just as easily have been created now.

    Thanks for the review, Carmen.

    xxx

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  3. How cool! I especially like the images in the last picture of the post. Very intriguing. (: With over 500 pages, I'm sure there's plenty to flip through.

    And this, "or, as I prefer to say - the rest of the world finally caught up with my tastes." made me laugh aloud, haha. Love it!

    Hope you're having a lovely holiday season!

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  4. I really love the sound of this one. It's right up my street

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  5. Oh my yes, what an awesome book! Is it bad I would flip through and then immediately cut it up for parts?! :D

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  6. Your choice of words is just so entertaining...I love to read your posts....even when they are not things I usually am interested in...I suddenly become interested...haha!

    I hope you an d your family have the best Christmas ever!! Super Duper Big, gigantic hugs!!!

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Of all the blogs in all the towns, in all of cyber space, you landed on mine...

"Say your right words" the goblins said...

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