Welcome to my personal library.  The following is an excerpt from "The Art of Everyday Joe: A Collector's Journal."  I've added it here so that you'll see that I don't only want to promote my own books, but ALL art books.  When it comes to promoting art appreciation, I feel no competition whatsoever with others who are doing the same.  As a society, we need to evolve past competition.  God has created vast universes that exist beyond everything that we know and guess what?  It's all ART for us to breathe and enjoy.  Art books are simply a reflection.  Here's the excerpt called ...


"My Favorite Art Books"


I'm sitting here next to a stack of art books that I'm calling, "My Favorite Art Books."  Because art book publishing is in a reported state of crises, I thought that I would do my little part to help out.  When I visit national bookstore chains, it's quite unsettling to discover that the art and architecture book sections are pushed WAY to the back of the building.  Of course, that has its advantages if you seek solitude as I do. 


While I believe most art books suffer from "stuffy academia," they're the closest things that many people will ever come to seeing true art.  They deserve our support.  Anyway, here's a quick list of my favorites ... in no particular order.  I'm sure you have your own choices.


"ARTODAY," by Edward Lucie-Smith (Phaidon).  Who dares question the knowledge of this great art writer?  Formidable book and illustrations.  His "American Realism" tome is good too.


"Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle," by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna (DAP, Santa Monica Museum of Art).  I highly recommend this book to the free-spirited among us.  It covers the Beat-Generation cultural movement in such a warm, human way.  A very hip and engaging survey.  It's not just about the art, but the people behind it.  Where are the artists today like these people?  We're so uptight these days.   


"Artists at Work," by David Seidner (Rizzoli).  Just an elegant look inside the studios of famous artists.  Love it.


"The Hudson River School," by Bert D. Yaeger (Smithmark).  If you've ever visited the Hudson River Valley north of New York City, you won't have to ask why I chose this book.


"Paul McCartney: Paintings" (Bulfinch).  He's artistic in more ways than one.


"Julian Schnabel" (Harry N. Abrams).  I got this massive book which retails for $75.00 for only $28.00 including shipping, online.  That's reason enough to love it, however, I also love it because it lets the artist's work speak for itself.  Being a writer, I can't believe I just said that, but it's true.


"Basquiat" (Brooklyn Museum, Merrell).  I saw the exhibition upon which this book is based at L.A.MOCA (see, Basquiat).  It was a drop-dead, bad-ass show.  I had to have this book.


"Photorealism at the Millennium," by Louis K. Meisel with Linda Chase (Harry N. Abrams).  I'll never be able to afford photorealist works, which I LOVE, but at least I have this book.


"The Art of Richard Diebenkorn," by Jane Livingston (University of California Press).  A lovely tribute to this versatile artist.


"Painters In Paris 1895-1950," by William S. Lieberman (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press).  Artists and Paris ... who can resist either?


"Art at Work: Forty Years of The J.P. Morgan Chase Collection." Chase has a kick-ass, progressive collection.  Money in the bank.


I could go on forever.  Basically every art book is my favorite art book.  I chose not to be pretentious in my reasons for selecting these.  I just love them and I think that's good enough reason.  My home is full of art books and these are just a few worthy of mention. 


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