I wrestled with a few different versions of the book yesterday, until I finally came to a point that feels resolved, if not totally final. Having an mockup with actual, turning pages is essential, I can't fake or imagine the way the images will read together within that format and rhythm otherwise.
I think this book might be better than the last one--which is a good sign, I hope. I really can't wait to have these books printed. It will be amazing to hold them in my hand. I am looking forward to having something people can buy from my website, and these books will be the first. I will be selling them cheaply.
This weekend David and I were among the first 100 people into the Met Saturday morning to see the Michelangelo exhibit in its last weekend. As we were leaving we were astonished to see a massive line of people snaking all the way through the museum and out onto the street. As it was, you really had to elbow your way in to get close to any of the works. This is the biggest grouping of his works I've seen in one place before, and it was overwhelming. It included sketches the artist probably had discarded, images he had crossed out, and pieces of paper worked on both sides, which gave a sense of his time and his personality as an artist.
The portraits shimmered, with a spooky aliveness. Red chalk limbs floated in space, filling in every spot on the paper. I noticed the absence of female figures. In the sistine chapel sketches and finals you could see how he used his male assistant to stand in as a woman, and just how manly the female figures looked as a result.
The David Hockney show, just a little ways down the corridor was a blast of light, color and contemporaneousness after the low light gloom and archeology of the Michelangelo. It is not possible to make a complete report here, but the famous portraits of his friends and of his parents stood out from the rest. The way he painted furniture was also amazing--the attention to detail; the shapes and colors and angles that suggest independent personalities and movement. I love the still life in the foreground here; playful, and funny, but so beautifully executed that the little joke seems barely possible.