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The cover for the book really caught my attention. The dust jacket and cover are uniquely cut, clearly showing the layers when they are put on top of each other. It's just like how the paper would be "cut" if it was burned by fire.

Dark Inspiration: Grotesque Illustrations, Art and Design is an art book of dark illustrations.

The images are haunting. The artists featured are really good at using abstractions and collages to bring across the strangeness of the theme. You'll be able to see sculptures of dead animals with strange bone structures, hell-like miniature models, elephants coming out of a kid's stomach and all sorts of macabre imagery and experiments. They remind me of those pictures that appear in the rooms of psychopathic criminals that appear in those crime dramas.

A total of 42 artists contributed to the book. Some of them are Kate MacDowell, Audrey Kawasaki, James Jean, Kris Kuksi, Zhou Fan, Fuco Ueda, Jesse Auersalo, Elizabeth McGrath, John Ryan Solis and Richard Colman.

As the title suggest, this really is an inspiring book for this dark genre of art.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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on 20 January 2013
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it's subjective.
Personally, I knew from the start there would be pieces in this volume that would not strike a chord with my taste, and some border on revulsion, but that's what art does, provokes a reaction, and revulsion is a striking colour on any palette. There pieces are mixed, from digital to traditional, from drawn to photo manipulated, muted tones and live. Its a great study of the darker sides of symbolism and surrealism mostly, or just plain wierd and wonderful.
The pieces make you think, or at least react in some way.
The only reason I have marked this dark little gem down is that there seems to have been a little issue in the lay out of the print in places. as with some illustrated books, occasionally you will get the wide image that needs to be spread out across two faces and naturally the binding down the middle does marr its beauty. However, in this book, that has not been done simply to a wide image. It ruins one small image placed slap in the middle of the seam, making it hard to see properly, and there are one or two medium images shifted more one way than the other that then causes the seam to be through the focal point of the image, I appreciate the lay out living out its artistic vision, but not at the expence of the art its showcasing.
That, and the fact the print heavy black may have made some pages stick together at the edges in some copies, is the only problem.
Otherwise its a wonderful little trapse through the dhadows.
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on 27 June 2012
The presentation of the artwork is exceptional and the book itself is physically of a high quality. However I would've liked a lot more information on each of the artists represented, not least a list of any of their own publications or failing that just a list of their websites. How an art book can neglect to provide such information these days is something of a mystery to me.

As it is, it's a nice coffee-table book and not much else.
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on 14 January 2012
I've bought this for my sister for Christmas. She's a recent art graduate and absolutely loved it.

I got a sneak peak too after the presents were unwrapped and I was pleasantly surprised. The paper is of really nice quality, and the pictures inside are in quite a variety of styles.If you're looking for some slightly grim but also a bit colourful and psychedelic inspiration for your art this collection will definitely do the job.
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I liked the video review by 'Parka'of this book and although the video itself was somewhat 'quick', I saw enough to make me decide to order it. Inside are several artists whose work I have discovered, along with quite a few I haven't until now. Worth every penny, but has to be said that some, for my money, are more enticing than others. Artists like Tara McPherson, Audrey Kawasaki, Elizabeth McGrath and Kris Kuksi are rightly so pretty well established, and liking them as I do, it was also very refreshing to find a host of others that should, by rights, have their own art books! (I have looked on Amazon, but cannot find solo works by Jasper Goodall, Gary Fernandez, someone called 'Lost Fish' - very much in the style of Kukula - and Jeff McMillan, to name a few)
If you have a liking for lowbrow art, sensuous art, together with decadent and disturbing imagery, then this is worth having in your collection.
In addition, I also like the design of the book itself, with a glossy 'cut' sleeve, a matt black irregular embossed inner cover and with black edges to the pages. All credit to the publishers - viction:ary (sic) - for taking the time and trouble to make this volume slightly more unusual. My only criticism? None of Ray Caesar's artwork included!
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on 15 January 2013
Quick delivery - this book was a pleasant surprise - the cover and pages are very good quality - showing off the illustrations and colours perfectly. This was bought for late teen - the pictures are beautiful - but pay heed - the pictures are as described GROTESQUE - some are explicit - would give it an '18' for viewing age. That aside - my daughter was chuffed to bits - perfect for inspiration - and frankly - I'm glued to it as well.
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on 2 July 2013
I bought it as a present for me illustrator brother and he loved it! There is a good range of unusual illustrations, perfect for any art lover looking for some inspiration.
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on 23 September 2015
My mate was very pleased with his book
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on 24 April 2015
Truly a great collection of art.
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