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Individual Artists

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  1. 9/13/2016 • Unabridged

    For ten years, Calvin and Hobbes was one the world’s most beloved comic strips. And then, on the last day of 1995, the strip ended. Its mercurial and reclusive creator, Bill Watterson, not only finished the strip but withdrew entirely from public life. In this fascinating story, Nevin Martell sets out on a very personal odyssey to understand the life and career of the intensely private man behind Calvin and Hobbes. Martell talks to a wide range of artists and writers, including Dave Barry, Harvey Pekar, and Brad Bird, as well as some of Watterson’s closest friends and professional colleagues. Along the way Martell reflects upon the nature of his own fandom and on the extraordinary legacy that Watterson left behind. This is as close as we’re ever likely to get to one of America’s most ingenious and intriguing figures.

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  2. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    6.6 hrs • 6/9/2015 • Unabridged

    The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, first published in 1975, is less a memoir than a collection of riffs and reflections. The private Andy Warhol talks about love, sex, food, beauty, fame, work, money, success; about New York and America; and about himself—his childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, good times and bad times in New York, the explosion of his career in the sixties, and his life among celebrities.

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    The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol

    The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

    6.6 hrs • 6/9/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 3.5 hrs • 3/17/2015 • Unabridged

    Teary, big-eyed orphans and a multitude of trashy knockoffs epitomized American kitsch art as they clogged thrift stores for decades. When Adam Parfrey tracked down Walter Keane—the credited artist of the weepy waifs—for a San Diego Reader cover story in 1992, he discovered some shocking facts. Decades of lawsuits and countersuits revealed the reality that Keane was more of a con man than an artist, and that he forced his wife Margaret to sign his name to her own paintings. As a result, those weepy waifs may not have been as capricious an invention as they seemed. Parfrey’s story was reprinted in Juxtapoz magazine and inspired a Margaret Keane exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum. Director Tim Burton made a movie about the Keanes called Big Eyes, which came out in 2014. Citizen Keane is a book-length expansion of Parfrey’s original article, providing fascinating biographical and sociological details.

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    Citizen Keane by Adam Parfrey, Cletus Nelson

    Citizen Keane

    3.5 hrs • 3/17/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 7.8 hrs • 11/5/2014 • Unabridged

    When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer she’d first met late one night in 1966 at a Yorkville coffeehouse. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their last recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process. In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni’s childhood, love and loss, playing dives and huge festivals, acclaim and criticism, poverty and affluence, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes… This riveting narrative, told in interviews, lyrics, paintings, and photographs, is shared in the hope of illuminating a timeless body of work and inspiring others.

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    Joni Mitchell

    7.8 hrs • 11/5/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.0 hrs • 7/23/2014 • Unabridged

    Finding love and freedom in a pen, a paintbrush … and Paris How much money does it take to quit your job? Exhausted and on the verge of burnout, Janice poses this questions to herself as she doodles on a notepad at her desk. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t as daunting as she expected. With a little math and a lot of determination, Janice cuts back, saves up, and buys herself two years of freedom in Europe. A few days into her stop in Paris, Janice meets Christophe, the cute butcher down the street—who doesn’t speak English. Through a combination of sign language and franglais, they embark on a whirlwind Paris romance. She soon realizes that she can never return to the world of twelve-hour workdays and greasy corporate lingo. But her dwindling savings force her to find a way to fund her dreams again. So Janice turns to her three loves—words, art, and Christophe—to figure out a way to make her happily-ever-after in Paris last forever.

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    Paris Letters

    7.0 hrs • 7/23/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 0.9 hrs • 2/26/2014 • Unabridged

    William Blake is a seminal figure in the history of poetry of the Romantic Age. A brilliant poet, his wide ranging genius also extended to the visual arts—he was a masterful printmaker and engraver as well. Blake was a nonconformist who privileged imagination over reason in all aspects of his art, and though this caused some critics of his time to think him insane, ultimately his poetry has endured and can reveal truths about our world today. In this audiobook, extracts from the complementary Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are read by the remarkable Sir Ralph Richardson.

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    William Blake

    0.9 hrs • 2/26/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 10.8 hrs • 12/24/2012 • Unabridged

    The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait. Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for the Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of The Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron. The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their “feminine nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper. And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours. She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers’ grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele’s Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting “the Lady in Gold” and proudly exhibited it in Vienna’s Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution. The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine. We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the US Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court’s decision had profound ramifications in the art world. In this book listeners will find riveting social history, an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna, a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter, a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, The Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.

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    The Lady in Gold

    10.8 hrs • 12/24/12 • Unabridged
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  8. 9.9 hrs • 8/15/2012 • Unabridged

    The true story of America’s greatest art forger! Ten years ago, an FBI investigation was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.” Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this audiobook, Caveat Emptor, is that artist Ken Perenyi’s confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off. Unlike other forgers, Perenyi produced no paper trail, no fake provenance whatsoever; he let the paintings speak for themselves. And that they did, routinely mesmerizing the experts in mere seconds.

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    Caveat Emptor by Ken Perenyi

    Caveat Emptor

    9.9 hrs • 8/15/12 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    19.5 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    This landmark biography penetrates the barriers of legend to bring to full and intimate life a man whose burning passions—for painting, women, and ideas—were matched by a compulsion to invent reality in his life no less than in his art. Here is the tragic story of a man who, from his teenage passion for a gypsy boy to the chilling bitterness and betrayals of his old age, was unable to love and was driven to dominate and humiliate the women—and men—who fell under his hypnotic spell. Drawing on a wealth of startling revelations, including the vivid memories of Picasso’s daughter Maya and the heretofore untold recollections of Françoise Gilot, who shared his life for ten years and bore two of his children, the author has stripped bare the romantic myths to reveal, in all its volatile complexity, Picasso’s lifelong struggle between his power to create and his compulsion to destroy.

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    Picasso by Arianna Huffington

    Picasso

    19.5 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 6.4 hrs • 10/25/2005 • Unabridged

    An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries. The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Paintingis a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. The fascinating details of Caravaggio’s strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr’s account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.

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    The Lost Painting

    6.4 hrs • 10/25/05 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.6 hrs • 5/16/2002 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling author of Beethoven’s Hair comes a stirring narrative account of the town that inspired one of the world’s most celebrated and controversial paintings, and of the artist whose passion and vision altered the course of modern history and art. In 1937, the Basque town of Guernica was bombed by Hitler’s Luftwaffe. This act of terror—the first large-scale attack against civilians in modern warfare—outraged the world, and one man in particular. Pablo Picasso responded to the devastation in his homeland by beginning work on “Guernica,” what many consider the greatest artwork of the twentieth century. Picasso’s War sheds light on the conflict that was an ominous prelude to WWII and delivers an unforgettable portrait of a genius whose visionary statement about horror and terrible wounds of war still resonates today.

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    Picasso’s War

    7.6 hrs • 5/16/02 • Unabridged
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  12. 18.3 hrs • 7/1/2000 • Unabridged

    Georgio Vasari’s original vision of the arts was to see the artist as divinely inspired. This historical work describes the lives of forty-five artists, including Giotto, Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, with striking immediacy conveyed through character sketches, anecdotes, and detailed recording of conversations. Despite some factual inaccuracies, Michelangelo praised Vasari for endowing artists with immortality. Vasari’s shrewd judgments and his precise pinpointing of the emotions aroused by individual works of art bear out his prediction that he would have a worldwide influence on the history of art. Volume One covers the following artists: Cimabue, Giotto, Uccello, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Alberti, Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgione, Correggio, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, as well as additional notes on the artists.

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    Lives of the Artists, Vol. 1 by Giorgio Vasari

    Lives of the Artists, Vol. 1

    Translated by George Bull
    18.3 hrs • 7/1/00 • Unabridged
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