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Astonishing Works of John Altoon Hardcover – 19 Jun 2014


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wow! Well Done 26 July 2014
By L. Shodall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read The Astonishing Works of John Altoon because I grew up with his works hanging in my house, and also with him over for dinners with family and such until his tragically early death. I really liked much of the content of the book as I'd never really heard people speak of my Uncle John. Most of my encounters were of family nature and good fun and food, not art and what his art meant to other artists. So although I was familiar with some of his paintings in the book, most of the sketches were new. When I did see my Uncle John paint, he was intense and driven and he was fast. I believe the book supports those comments. Both my brother and I enjoyed the book. very much....just a little bit more about our wonderful Uncle that we never new.about from someone else's perspective. On a personal note, the art world seems like a closed society, not partial to giving the time of day to family recollections and paintings we may possess that may have not been seen yet. So although I love the book, it seems a passionate man like Uncle John would also have passionate family tales to interweave which would create a less lop-sided story about the man and therefore his art. I suppose some folks take a great man's accomplishments and failures and weave the story, but really forgetting the humanity of who he really was, absolutely gives only a 3/4 view of the man. Well maybe next time.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
John Altoon 26 Jun. 2014
By Geonomeak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I shook hands with Altoon when I was in LA in the 60's. I loved his work; so light, so playful, so odd. I had a brand new degree in Art, and thought Altoon was a bit of guiding light - my turn in the exalted world of Art would arrive soon. The real lesson of Altoon would seem to be that it would help a bit if one were moderately sober and sane. Also it is a real positive if you happen to acquire friends that are hot stuff of the times. The most unfortunate lesson is that despite the more or less excellence of ones work or commitment to it - fame , or even making a modest living in the arts is fleeting. There are two recent books on Altoon, both of them wonderful in content. He was an interesting, playful, and briefly influential character in the LA Arts scene. I recommend either or both books to anyone interested in an example of the brief careers of artists that might have developed into major players, but that are now largely forgotten.
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