Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maira Kalman - "And the Pursuit of Happiness"

From what I've gathered, this is Kalman's first post to her new blog project which will focus on American democracy.

I've loved Maira's work since I first happened upon her illustrated children's book "Stay Up Late", which is based on a David Byrne/Talking Heads song off of the LITTLE CREATURES album (1985). Right away, I imagined that she and I had the same quirky sense of humor and an appreciation of the absurd. (If you ever catch me in the children's section of bookstores or libraries, it's probably because I'm scouting for additional interesting illustrative/graphic design work being done for kids' books.)

Last year, one of the things that could reliably perk me up or send me to numbered clouds (9, for instance) was Maira's blog "The Principles of Uncertainty." It was zen meets jon stewart meets dali meets dalai. I loved it. These blogposts have been compiled for her new book "The Principles of Uncertainty", about which an reviewer says: "[It]...defies easy classification. Is it philosophy? Art? Memoir? Travel? Sociology? The answer is All of the Above (and more). This charming collection of text, paintings, and photography presents a "profusely illustrated" year in a life, with illustrated musings that range from a young Nabokov "sitting innocently and elegantly in a red chair" to two stuffed rabbits in the window at Paris's Deyrolles taxidermy to Kitty Carlisle Hart at home in her "pearly pink palace." Delightful, inspiring, and often very moving, this little charmer is a book you might find nestled on Wes Anderson's coffee table."

I bet that top-tier sculptor Richard Serra would probably love to be appointed as the first U.S. Minister of Culture, but personally I'd like to see Maira Kalman's name on the short list of considered appointees for this dream job. Like in my dreams...

1 comment:

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