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The Sci-fi Artists Artist,
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This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)
My first encounters with the work of Chris Foss were filled with mixed emotions. Thrilled by the superb artwork upon the cover of various books I would buy titles only to find that the stories themselves were often horribly outdated & released with amazing artwork that hid the dull contents within.
Older & wiser I may avoid many of those titles of dubious content but I remain thrilled by Foss's work.
The true greats in sci-fi & fantasy art have always managed to balance a peek into the future with a timeless quality that means their work remains fresh forever.
There can surely be few people who haven't seen the imperious spacecraft that are the trademark of this superbly talented artist. For me what keeps me glued to the images is the sense that these are vehicles fit for gods to arrive in. The intricate detail, eye catching colours & ground breaking design all play second fiddle to the sheer size and fearsome power he imbues into them.
The publishers, Titan, have a well deserved reputation for quality at very reasonable prices for their publications & this title keeps that reputation in tact. The glossy hardcovers are eye catching & help keep costs down by making the need for a dust jacket redundant. The paper is heavy & the colours bright & deep. The font is called 'range' & is suitably sci-fi but easily read. The 2 page intro by Rian Hughes is well worth a read but the real pleasures are the interview by Imogene Foss which gives a fine insight & mini biography. For the artists then surely the Jean Giraud intro. is the high point with an artists view. The Alejandro Jodorowsky page, (Foss did some prelim. artwork for a failed 'Dune' movie project), is brief but a welcome addition.
Then it's on to the artwork in earnest. 220 pages of eye blistering, mind expanding & imagination pumping brilliance. The commentary is limited to a bold type title/project with brief content description & date printed on the pages outer edge & not interfering with the work. The only small downside of the whole book is that it can be a bit baffling matching the description with the right work on a busy page.. It really is all about the art & the variety & quality on show here is staggering. Full page illustrations abound & there are a fair few double page spreads too. The multi-image pages are well chosen & I really feel that there is just about as little quality v quantity compromise as you could possible hope for.
The robots, the seascapes, aliens & most of all spacecraft of Chris Foss are ageless & objects of terrible beauty. A quick flick of this book nearly always seems to be turned into yet another hour gone by in the company of a true genius.
I find myself swept back to those days of my early teens when I first really fell in love with all things sci-fi & yet, unlike so much else I once felt cutting edge, this huge collection retains a sharp & edgy quality that refuses to age.
This is not just for those into sci-fi but rather anyone with a love of art will be thrilled by this stunning work.
A collection of timeless classics from a true master of the genre.