183 books about Individual Artists and 2
start with N
By Nic Nicosia University of Texas Press, 2012 Library of Congress NX512.N53A4 2012 | Dewey Decimal 779.092
Photographer and filmmaker Nic Nicosia makes pictures. Since the late 1970s, Nicosia has staged and constructed sets, objects, and situations to be photographed rather than to reproduce something that already exists. These conceptual fabrications have ranged from elaborate sets with live actors to dioramas and abstract constructions. Whether his pictures contain a disturbing suburban narrative, or are fabricated by the act of drawing, or are simply created by the use of common objects with dramatic lighting, the familiar thread of Nicosia’s unique vision and sensibility is always present.
Nic Nicosia is the first major publication of the artist’s work and covers his entire oeuvre through 2011. The catalog presents images from all of Nicosia’s major photographic series, including Domestic Dramas, Near (modern) Disasters, The Cast, Life as We Know It, Real Pictures, Love + Lust, Acts, Sex Acts, Untitled Landscapes, 365 SaFe Days, Untitled (drawing), Space Time Light, I See Light, and in the absence of others, as well as stills from the videos Middletown, Moving Picture, Middletown Morning, Cerchi E Quadratti, On Acting America, and 9 1/2 Hours to SaFe. Accompanying the catalog is an overview of Nicosia’s career by Michelle White, an interview with the artist by Sue Graze, and an original short story by Philipp Meyer that powerfully resonates with the sense of wonder and menace in Nicosia’s art.
Norman Rockwell’s scenes of everyday small-town life are among the most indelible images in all of twentieth-century art. While opinions of Rockwell vary from uncritical admiration to sneering contempt, those who love him and those who dismiss him do agree on one thing: his art embodies a distinctively American style of innocence.
In this sure-to-be controversial book, Richard Halpern argues that this sense of innocence arises from our reluctance—and also Rockwell’s—to acknowledge the often disturbing dimensions of his works. Rockwell’s paintings frequently teem with perverse acts of voyeurism and desire but contrive to keep these acts invisible—or rather, hidden in plain sight, available for unacknowledged pleasure but easily denied by the viewer.
Rockwell emerges in this book, then, as a deviously brilliant artist, a remorseless diagnostician of the innocence in which we bathe ourselves, and a continuing, unexpected influence on contemporary artists. Far from a banal painter of the ordinary, Halpern argues, Rockwell is someone we have not yet dared to see for the complex creature he is: a wholesome pervert, a knowing innocent, and a kitschy genius.
Provocative but judicious, witty but deeply informed, Norman Rockwell is a book rich in suggestive propositions and eye-opening details—one that will change forever the way we think about this American icon and his works.