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Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio by John  Picacio
Review by Gayle Surrette
MonkeyBrain Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1932265163
Date: 25 May, 2006 List Price $39.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

I have to admit, I love art books and Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio is amazing. There's something about seeing a single artist's work over time--you can see growth, change, and the breadth of work that you don't get from a now and again reminder as you see a book cover or art show. Picacio has done an impressive amount of book covers that I recognize as ones that got me to pick the book up and take a closer look.

Most of the artwork is on one page so you don't have that terrible dip in the middle as it bridges the binding. Each piece of art has a short piece about the thought and crafting that went into developing the work. There are often one or more sketches of basic ideas. It's a bit daunting to realize how closely the original concept sketch and the final piece agree. The end of the book has an interview with John Picacio by Joseph McCabe. The interview ranges over John's childhood, school years, architectural training, techniques, and life in general.

Picacio's work has a lot of texture and I'd often, as I browsed through the book after my first reading, stop and reach out a finger to brush across the texture only to find that it was the glossy paper under my fingers. Even reproduced in a book, the art remains captivating and entrancing.

If you have enjoyed the art of John Picacio on book covers and in art shows, this is your opportunity to own a bit of it. To enjoy the artwork over and over on dark days when you just need to see something beautiful, thought provoking, different, or wondrous.

Highly recommended.

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