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Volume 23, Number 2
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Dune
Frank Herbert (author) and Sam Weber (illustrator), with introduction by Michael Dirda and afterword by Brian Herbert
The Folio Society
Clothbound hardcover, 576 pages, $125

The Silence of the Lambs
Thomas Harris (author) and Marshall Arisman (illustrator) Subterranean Press
Limited edition hardcover, 344 pages, $150; leather-bound limited edition, 344 pages, $1,500

Two classics of American fiction were reissued this year, and both feature work by artists associated with SVA’s MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department. Sam Weber, a 2005 graduate of the program, illustrated the Folio Society’s deluxe reprint of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic Dune, creating the slipcover graphic, cover image and a number of interior illustrations, and department chair Marshall Arisman painted portraits of fictional serial killers Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill for two limited-edition runs of Thomas Harris’ 1988 horror novel The Silence of the Lambs, produced by Subterranean Press.

The Dune assignment is Weber’s third with the Folio Society—he previously illustrated the covers and interiors of a 2008 reissue of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954) and a 2011 edition of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 (1953). Though he now considers himself “a huge fan” of Herbert’s book, which tells the story of an interplanetary struggle over a scarce resource known as “the spice,” he first encountered the work not in its original form, nor through David Lynch’s poorly received 1984 film version, but via a 1992 video game adaptation. Weber is selling the original art for the assignment, as well as prints of the work, on his website, sampaints.com.

In the 1980s and ’90s, due largely to his own artistic inclinations, which often tended toward dark themes, Marshall Arisman became known among art directors “as the go-to guy whenever there was a murder,” he says. So when The Silence of the Lambs was first published, he ended up illustrating articles on the book for no fewer than three publications: Time, The Village Voice and The New York Times Book Review. After Harris’ original publisher bought the original art for the Times piece as a gift for the best-selling author, Harris—who rarely consents to interviews or publicity—sent an admiring note to Arisman. The sentiment was evidently genuine: More than 25 years later, when Subterranean approached Harris about reproducing his best-known work, Arisman was his illustrator of choice. “It turned out to be one of those dream jobs,” Arisman says. “They told me ‘Tom [Harris] said you should be left alone to do it.’” The resulting paintings can be seen on the covers and inside pages of Subterranean’s two numbered editions—a run of 200, all signed by Arisman, and a run of 52, all signed by Arisman and Harris and packaged in a custom case. [Greg Herbowy]

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Archive Home
Bette Blau
79½ South Broadway, Nyack, New York
archivehome.bigcartel.com
whatbettefound.com

Decorators and savvy homeowners are always looking for unusual items to give spaces a sense of personality. Oftentimes it takes just a single accent piece to provide that defining aesthetic. Could a vintage sparkplug-displaycum- spice-rack be the focal point of your kitchen? Or maybe an impeccably preserved insect collection from the 1960s is the perfect piece to tie together your redesigned living room? These are just two examples of the many rare and one-of-a-kind items available at Archive Home, an idiosyncratic selection of home goods that are not only fashionable and collectible, but truly genuine.

Founded by Bette Blau (BFA 1983 Fine Arts) and her partners Meryl Foster and Christina Lane in 2013 as a pop-up store in Nyack, New York, Archive Home now has a permanent home just down the street from its original location as well as an e-commerce site. As a professional stylist who sources props for photo shoots, Blau has years of experience choosing objects that convey a sense of authenticity, and she regularly scours flea markets and estate sales for items that evoke an emotional reaction or memory.

“I think there is a big push now for repurposed objects, bringing history, character and individuality into people’s homes and lives,” she says. “When I am in the shop, customers come in and tell stories about their past when they relate to something they see. Vintage pieces that have lasted are important links to our past, reminding us of actual moments of our lives, authentic both physically and psychologically.”

In addition to choosing Archive Home’s products around themes like Americana, industrial design and Danish modern design, Blau also runs a separate blog with her husband, Steven Randazzo, called What Bette Found, about her experiences hunting, scavenging and reusing the objects she finds, many of which are available for sale on the site. [Derek Parsons]

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Rain Lamp
Richard Clarkson
richardclarkson.com
12" globe, $940; 16" globe, $1,220

In just a few short years, Richard Clarkson (MFA 2014 Products of Design) has made a name for himself in the design world. News of his Cloud Lamps—light-and-speaker systems that replicate the rumbles and flashes of thunderclouds, which he first created as a student and are now produced by his year-old, Brooklyn-based studio—quickly went viral, grabbing the attention of media outlets from Fast Co. Design and Juxtapoz to BuzzFeed and Boing Boing.

Continuing his theme of bringing the sights and sounds of nature indoors, Clarkson followed up the Cloud with the Rain Lamp, a glass sphere containing water, a carefully crafted pump system and a bulb, all of which create a rippling light effect. “The idea was originally inspired by childhood memories of indoor pool lights and reflections,” he says. “But it was after looking more closely at the fish tank here in our studio that I got really motivated and excited about light ripples specifically. I loved the idea of a lighting fixture that actually, physically dripped real water—such a contradiction to our perceptions of electricity and water!”

Clarkson and his team aimed even higher, atmospherically speaking, for their next project, the Galaxy system, a series of water-filled lamps that project recreations of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The first Galaxy was installed in a New Orleans restaurant in June and the system will be available for purchase later this year. With all the interest the designer’s work has generated, his studio is busier than ever. “It’s transitioning into more than just a Cloud Lamp factory and feeling more like an art and design laboratory,” Clarkson says. “Come see for yourself—we welcome visitors. Just make an appointment via our website.” [Ken Switzer]

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Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992 – 2000
Ash Thayer, with introduction by Reverend Frank Morales
PowerHouse Books
Hardcover, 176 pages, $50

Growing up an outcast among what she calls the “evil-Disney-dimpledredneck- princesses” of Memphis, Tennessee, Ash Thayer (BFA 1997 Photography) found her place in the local punk scene—an affinity that proved useful, if not life-changing, a few years later when, enrolled at SVA, she found herself unable to afford both rent and her education. “Some of my punk friends were squatters,” she says, living in the abandoned and condemned buildings of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Thayer was invited to join them, on the condition that she—like all the other itinerant teens, low-income families, activists and self-identified misfits that occupied the buildings—pitch in with the renovation efforts: nearly everything, from plumbing to electricity to structural soundness, had fallen into disrepair.

Kill City (which takes its name from a 1977 Iggy Pop album) is Thayer’s photographic record of that time, which spanned the remainder of her undergraduate years, and then some. Many of the photos that appear in the book were first used for class assignments and shown in group critiques at SVA, though few of her classmates or faculty members likely knew how rare her access to the squatters, a secretive and close-knit community, was, or how unique a historical document her pictures would become. “It was a really, really big deal to come in and take pictures” in such an insular community, she says. Police raids and evictions were a fact of squatter life and any outside exposure put the residents at risk. Thayer only began showing the photos recently; first as part of a feature for The New York Times, now as Kill City. The timing for the book, she says, seemed right. “Everyone is grieving over the loss of these small communities, and starting to realize the negative effects of the sort-of overdevelopment free-for-all that’s now happening in New York City.”

Those who mourn what has been lost can take some solace in knowing that some of Kill City’s communities live on, if in an altered, city-sanctioned form. After a sustained legal effort, the squatters succeeded in forming a number of co-ops, claiming shared ownership of several buildings, including the one where Thayer lived the longest: 155 Avenue C, then known to its occupants as See Skwat. Thayer, who now lives in Los Angeles (but is contemplating a return to New York) is working on a new project based, she says, on “Nordic mythology, fantasy and gender.” For more information, visit ashthayer.net. [GH]

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Custom home illustrations
Chris Bonnell
ctbonnell.com
$500 for a 13 x 19" digital print; prices for hand-drawn or colored illustrations upon request

Portraitists typically take people as their subjects. Chris Bonnell (MFA 2015 Illustration as Visual Essay), however, creates portraits of homes. After offering his house-illustration services as part of a 2012 fund-raising auction benefiting Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, using a previous illustration he’d done of a friend’s home as a sample, Bonnell received a number of requests from the borough’s homeowners looking to commemorate their residences in the same way. Referrals have kept business coming in ever since. “The people who commission these love their homes,” he says. “To be able to look at the outside of their house from inside their house is a thrill for them.” The drawings aren’t straight architectural illustration, though. Bonnell plays with perspective and takes other liberties—adding plants or animals, for example—to help capture each home’s personality and reflect its history. Though the bulk of his commissions are still for Brooklyn townhouses, he has also drawn beach homes and cabins. Recently, he has been working with the archival research organization Brownstone Detectives to compile his work into a book. To contact Bonnell for a house illustration, visit ctbonnell.com. [Marcelo Rivera-Figueroa]

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Sylvania
Anna Beeke
Daylight Books
Hardcover, 132 pages, $45

The mysteries of the forest have held the imaginations of people all over the world for centuries. For photographer Anna Beeke (MFA 2013 Photography, Video and Related Media), going into the woods was a way to explore her own personal connection and history to nature. “Though I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., I was conceived in Washington State on the heavily forested San Juan Islands,” she says. “I had never been to the Pacific Northwest and had the conviction that if I did go, I would surely find something there. What I found was the forest and an intense sense of contentment and enchantment that harkened back to a more childish or primitive capacity to indulge the imagination.”

Inspired, Beeke continued to explore the American woodlands, from Washington to Louisiana to Vermont, taking photographs in an effort to capture the universal appeal of the forest and its changing face in an increasingly developed world. The resulting images make up Sylvania, her first book, which—after a successful Kickstarter campaign and positive notices in American Photo and The New York Times’ Lens blog—is due to be released in late October by Daylight Books. For more information, visit annabeeke.com[Dan Halm]

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The Wolfpack
Crystal Moselle
Magnolia Pictures
DVD/Blu-ray, $26.98/$29.98; VOD, $6.99

The story behind The Wolfpack, the debut documentary by director Crystal Moselle (BFA 2002 Film and Video), is one of compounding improbabilities. Oscar Angulo, a Peruvian Hare Krishna follower, and Susanne Reisenbichler, his American wife, raise six boys and one daughter almost entirely within the confines of their apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Angulo, intensely mistrustful of the wider world, nonetheless allows his sons an unlimited diet of television and movies, which they imbibe and reenact with near-devotional fervor. Eventually, the brothers rebel against their internment and, on one of their first unsupervised trips outside, are approached and befriended by Moselle—a filmmaker, of all things.

After gaining the family’s trust, Moselle, who has also directed music videos and short films for The New York Times, Vice and Nowness, began work on a movie about the brothers. Filmed over the course of several years and seamlessly incorporating home-video footage shot by the Angulos themselves, The Wolfpack is an intimate, impressionistic portrait of a universal family dynamic, the generational shift in power and authority, playing out in deeply unusual circumstances. After premiering at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival—where it won a grand jury prize and critical acclaim—The Wolfpack played at a number of festivals around the country before going into wider release last June, making stars of the six brothers, who have since appeared in fashion spreads and features for magazines like New York, Vanity Fair and Vogue and have been photographed out on the town mingling with actresses like Dakota Fanning and Olivia Wilde.

Though The Wolfpack’s run is not yet over—both the BBC and The Hollywood Reporter have picked it for a likely Oscar nomination—Moselle has begun work on her next film, a scripted feature, and is still active with her commercial work, which includes collaborations with Obesity and Speed, a fashion line founded by fellow SVA graduate Lyz Olko (BFA 2002 Fine Arts). For more on Moselle’s projects, visit crystalmoselle.com. [GH]

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Drawing Is Magic: Discovering Yourself
in a Sketchbook

John Hendrix
STC Craft/A Melanie Falice Book
Board book with flaps, 160 pages, $17.95

The sketchbook is often sacred to artists as a place for experimentation, a place for the evolution of ideas and concepts, and a place to play and explore. For illustrator John Hendrix (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay), drawing has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember, and he says he discovered the value of keeping a sketchbook at a young age. “I have a box of sketchbooks going all the way back to grade school, and I still carry a sketchbook everywhere I go,” he writes in the foreword to this book, a collection of drawing exercises designed to encourage creativity and improve skills. “The reason I’m such an advocate for sketchbooks is because I can credit most of what I value in my work to the habit of drawing in one.”

With Drawing Is Magic, Hendrix hopes to pass on his passion. The book’s title is a phrase that Marshall Arisman, chair of MFA Illustration as Visual Essay, often uses to encourage young artists; Hendrix adopted it in tribute and as thanks for Arisman’s continued support of his work. Readers’ solutions to the various exercises—drawing one’s meals for a week, drawing in the dark of a movie theater (no flashlights, please), creating the concept for a book and then drawing its jacket, and illustrating fortune-cookie messages, to name a few—can be drawn directly into the book’s pages. Throughout, Hendrix offers helpful tips and inspiration, with suggestions and bits of wisdom like “Draw like a daredevil,” “Failure is actually learning in disguise,” “Trust your imagination” and “Let’s forget about the right answers.” [DH]

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Schmuck
Seth Kushner (BFA 1995 Photography)
Alternative Comics
Softcover, 176 pages, $19.95



Babel
Martin Wittfooth (MFA 2008 Illustration as Visual Essay), with introduction by Marshall Arisman (chair, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay) and essay by Kirsten Anderson
Murphy Fine Art Books
Signed hardcover, 124 pages, $65 (with domestic shipping) or $75 (with international shipping)

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Inside the Artist’s Studio
Joe Fig
(BFA 1991 Fine Arts, MFA 2002 Fine Arts)
Princeton Architectural Press
Softcover, 256 pages, $35

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Dede Allen: Editing the Cinema of Compassion
Nancy LeMay (BFA 1978 Media Arts)
Apple iBooks
E-book, 157 pages, free

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A Year Without Mom
Dasha Tolstikova (MFA 2012 Illustration as Visual Essay)
Groundwood Books
Hardcover, 176 pages, $19.95

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The Sound of One Hand: Max Gimblett’s Calligraphy Practice
Tom Huhn (chair, BFA Visual and Critical Studies)
Charta
Hardcover, 200 pages, $65

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The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland
Suzanne Anker (chair, BFA Fine Arts) and Sabine Flach (faculty, BFA Fine Arts)
Peter Lang Academic Publishers
Softcover and e-book, 222 pages, $45.95

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The Phone Book
Robert Herman (MPS 2009 Digital Photography)
Schiffer Publishing
Hardcover, 144 pages, $19.99

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The Eternal Letter: Two Millennia of the Classical Roman Capital
Edited by Paul Shaw (faculty, Art History and BFA Design)
The MIT Press
Hardcover, 264 pages, $55


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A Wild Swan: And Other Tales
Michael Cunningham (author) and Yuko Shimizu (MFA 2003 Illustration as Visual Essay) (illustrator)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover, 144 pages, $23

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