Monday, 27 October 2014

#23. Buy an Art Book

I've been hungrily reading this week. So far I've finished Dan Brown's Inferno, John Fowel's The Collector and now I'm half way through Aaron's Rod and  Ai Wei Speaks (with Hans Ulrich Obrist). Ai Wei Wei is an artist I've been very aware of for the past few years. I was lucky enough to see his exhibition at the Tate in 2010 but I honestly don't know much about his work or writing. With this in mind I searched for a book on the artist and found this brilliant set of interviews, as published by Penguin.

Admittedly buying a book isn't particularly difficult. In terms of New Years Resolutions, or To-Do Lists, buying something to complete a task feels distinctly like cheating your way to victory. It's incredibly detached, requires little physical effort and is normally over quite quickly. I wish I could say that I spent months searching for this book, lured into the aromatic and dank corners of a back street cafĂ©, in which an aging painter handed me the greying sheets of his ex-lovers monograph, but I can't. I bought it in a Blackwell's. But the sentiment was still there.

Anyway the book is great. Ai Weiwei is funny and intelligent. The book not only gives you a great insight into Ai Weiwei but the struggle for all artists and people in China at the moment (or at least at the time of the books release). Highly recommended.

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