Twisted Images

AnglomaniaCoffee table arty books are not all genteel. These books play with  disturbing images … mannequins in stunning ballgowns with mad hair and no faces, “murdered” models in full 80s regalia, punk gentlemen with doll leg headdresses. 

Anglomania is a stunner. It presents historical costumes in conjunction with 20th and 21st century fashion – staged in vignettes set in period rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These conjunctions are weirdly hypnotic, proving the maxim that there is no beauty that has not some strangeness in the proportion. 18th century silken gowns mix with Philip Treacy hats and Vivienne Westwood bedecked dandies. The mannequins who wear the costumes are a bit scary, like the clockwork characters in the Doctor Who episode The Girl in the Fireplace.

True RomanceThe book on Guy Bourdin illustrates his hugely influential photography, blurring commercial fashion, art, and surrealism. I went to an exhibition of his work in Melbourne in 2004 and was gobsmacked by the sexy glossiness and mystery of Bourdin’s photos.

True Romance: Allegorien der Liebe … (allegories of love from the Renaissance to the present) is an intriguing book. It meshes together text, reproductions of classic paintings, and more modern works, all connected by the theme of love. It is nice to dip into a book and see Tracey Emin and Nan Goldin aside Gustav Klimt and Giorgione. One for lovers as well as art lovers.

Graduate and Home School

home schoolSome readers (including myself) may have been unaware that the prizewinning film The Graduate was originally a book. Although witty, succinct and a straightforward read, this must be one of the few examples where the film outshines the book. Who can forget Dustin Hoffman lurking at the bottom of the swimming pool or having the word ‘plastics’ whispered into his ear by his dad’s friend?

Now a sequel has been written to this modern day morality tale. Charles Webb now has the happy couple, Benjamin and Elaine trying to resist the pressure to have their sons educated at the local school. Desperate times call for desperate remedies and ‘Grandma’ is brought in to  thwart the school principal. However, no service is performed for free and the presence of Benjamin’s ex-lover (and Elaine’s own mother) threatens a previously happy marriage.

Meet the Authors

A great way to find out more about authors, their works and forthcoming titles is this Meet the Author. Updated daily it contains 1296 short video clips of authors. You can hear writers such as Ian Rankin, Mark Urban and Minette Walters telling you what inspires them or giving details of their books.