Another art-book I wanted to give attention to is MIDDLE-EARTH:VISIONS OF A MODERN MYTH by Donato Giancola.
Now I have no interest in the subject matter, being not a fan of Tolkien’s mythology. I enjoyed the audio books well enough, and loved Peter Jackson’s first LORD OF THE RINGS film, while disliking the last two. And generally have no interest in the upcoming Hobbit movie. So yeah the subject matter of this art book leaves me cold, and had anyone else done it, I would have avoided the book.
However, Donato Giancola is an artist/painter of unrivaled, awe-inspiring talent, whose work yearly in the SPECTRUM Art Book, is always the most memorable and striking of a celebrated field. Unfortunately very few collections of his brilliant artwork is available, outside of his self published collections/chap books.
So any chance to see Donato’s Caravaggio/Classicist style in one place, in one book, in one quality hardcover book, is a collection to be sought after… and to attain.
Having done that with this book, while the subject matter still underwhelms, Donato’s artistry does not. It’s a wonderfully constructed tome, with a solid stitched binding, slipcover, and lavish glossy pages, deserving of showcasing Donato’s oils. It’s a scant 80 pages, with very little text, but the images speak for themselves.
Shifting between his penciled roughs, and his finished paints. Not all the drawings grab me (again my disinterest in the subject matter) but the ones that do… make the whole book worthwhile.
And did I mention the book smells great!? I’m a bibliophile, what can I say, things like smell and touch and presentation mean something to me. Yet another reason art-books have nothing to fear from digital. 🙂
So until there is a better collection of Giancola’s work available, for less than $25 this is not just an enjoyable purchase, but I think a must have one to any true fan of this artist. At these prices buy two. One to own, and one for resale value. :).
Final Grade: The subject matter is not my cup of tea, and the selections chosen are hit and miss, sometimes coming off as filler, but that said the ones that do work… work well, work majestically.,,, Are the stuff of modern myth. Recommended! B+!