Jokes have been made about 'the family jewels' for centuries, long before feminists drew focus to the personal possessions of feminine charms. And the phrase sticks, so here is a book celebrating those infamous jewels in a compendium of images that range from sophisticated photographic classics to quick shots to comic drawings to subtle paintings, erotic, humorous, decadent, and monumental - and every permutation of that adjective! Ten years ago this book would have appealed to a different audience than it does today. Curious women who have a proclivity to shopping, men who feel the need to compare with the broader spectrum of their birthright, youths who wonder about adult changes, and men who simply appreciate the flagship of masculinity - all will find this survey of art and photography focused on male attributes an informing as well as entertaining read.
The artists represented in this festival are both very well known (GAZ, Tom Bianchi, Kingdom 19, Victor Gadino, Steve Walker, Giovanni, Peter Arnold, etc etc) and up and coming (!) such as Ismael Alvarez, Guillem Medina, Mark Lynch, Dylan Ricci and the fascinating artist William Donavan. The views of the jewels extend from the extreme closeups to the full portrait of the owner. Some of the images are a bit self indulgent but others are art of the finest quality. Some abstract the target, as in the very beautiful ceramic bowl and vase decors by Hinrich Kröger, and some decorate the figure with rich beads as in the works by Adrian Alicea. The spectrum is enormous. The reproductions are of high quality and the book is both sensual and entertaining. Another fine art book from Bruno Gmünder Verlag! Grady Harp, November 10