Thomas Allen: Uncovered Board book – 10 Sep 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This gorgeous book contains Allen's own photographs of his sculpted scenes, and there is just as much artistry in his photographer's eye as there is in his skillful, creative hands. He plays with depth of field, focussing on one element of the collaged vignette whilst leaving a background figure blurred, adding to the menace and mystery of a scene, giving the images even more meaning or extra intent. He's like a mini Howard Hawks or John Huston directing one cinematic scene, positioning the camera and lighting in exactly the right places to capture the full effect of the sequence being played out, fixing that one perfect frame of film. This is one of the very best art books I have seen for a long time, every page is a delight.
The twenty-eight photos in the book actually turn out to be a varied selection, a sort of template for Allen to go and explore other print media besides pulp paperbacks from past decades. 'Swell' shows a galleon tossed on the wave pages of an encyclopedia, the delightful 'Uplift' has two children on a swing or 'Migrate' with two birds having flown from a spread but leaving their shape so you can see the text on the previous and next page.
The book's production is rather intriguing. The thick cardboard like pages, round corners on two sides and a sepia tinting for an aged look on some pages are suggestive of children's books from yesteryear but the violent and suggestive nature to many of the photos seem at odds with fun and frolics of children's playbooks. The cover is brilliant though. The sexy blond is actually on page three, her shape has been die-cut from the cover.
'Uncovered' will delight anyone who opens its pages. It all looks so obvious yet it was Thomas Allen who seems to be the first person to realize the creative potential of the cut cover tableaux.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
Hand this book to a friend and see their tenseness at the title and cover image fade away as the realisation of how the photos are constructed starts to make sense.
The format of the book seems perfect for the subject matter, although a larger size would have been even better.
What I will say is, try and get to see some of these prints at their full size, then you'll really appreciate the mastery of the art that Thomas Allen posseses.