There was a time, when the world was young, and before the dawn of the internet, when you couldn’t move for books on magic realism. It was a mainly American thing and I always had the feeling it was primarily about being clever for the sake of being clever, but it was certainly eye-catching.
I therefore had an enormous sense of dejà vu when this flopped onto the mat and looked forward to reliving the days of my youth. I know, wild dissolution or what?
Anyway, it’s not magic realism anymore – do keep up – it’s hyperrealism and Mark Crilley is a master of it, it says here. His work is pretty amazing and, if you miss the intermediate stages, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a book of photographs. Whether that’s what you want is up to you but, if your aim is to paint a spanner a mechanic might try to pick up, this is the book that’ll tell you how to do it. Mark is sound on the handling of minute detail and, particularly, of dealing with reflections. To be fair, as well as said spanner, there are also flowers, fruit and seashells, as well as a lot more things that have the kind of texture that lends itself to detailed reproduction. Cardboard, anyone?
If you detect a note of unconviction, you’re right. I’m not sure how many people will want this. However, if you do, I think you’ll find everything you want here. I’m just a little bothered by the reproduction, though, which seems a trifle coarse, spoiling the effect.
Click the picture to view on Amazon