2.05.2009

Pinhead in Orange



Let me start by admitting I'm no fan of "modern" or abstract art. The hallways outside my office are filled with Jackson Pollock and Paul Klee, and other kindergartners' drawings. When walking past them, my reaction ranges from rolling my eyes to getting furious that our company's dollars are being spent on a picture of a line. My rule is: If I can do it, it isn't art.

The cover of Buddhism for Mothers just irritates me. I would never read this book, just because of the cover. Seriously, why would the "artist" shrink the woman's head down to the size of a pool cue? What is that supposed to signify? To me, it implies that once you DO read it, your head will implode and will have no brain left for rational thought. Also, you will be sucked into a world resembling the inside of an orange Jolly Rancher. With creepy little trees growing in the distance. Or are they even trees? They are shaped more like rat poops.

The text at the top bugs me too: "This is an excellent, practical guide to Buddhism not just for mothers, but for everyone who has ever had a mother." What?? Are they trying to say it's for everyone? Why not just say that? It's hurtful to those who never had a mother. They are specifically excluded, and that's just mean.

15 comments:

The.Effing.Librarian said...

the perspective gets me, like her feet are close, standing on that hot sun, and her head is really really far away. and the little bullfighter the top of the flower that's on her dress, like the flower represents her head (???). and if they're on the sun, how can they cast shadows... unless there's a brighter sun behind them. right, I don't find the cover comforting. so much orange. and those three figures in the back make me think of a Kate Bush song: "Many an Aborigine's mistaken for a tree
'Til you near him on the motorway
The tree begin to breathe" so I think they're in Australia. Oh, now the cover makes total sense!

Rex Parker said...

RE: Klee and Pollock. You *can't* do it. You can try. You will not succeed.

That said, this cover is truly terrible. Anything "for mothers" is terrible. Marketing!

rp

JenB said...

The first thing that stood out to me was the author's last name--a spelling variation of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Dunno why that struck me as odd.

Modern and abstract art are lost on me as well.

Crowscious said...

I agree, the first word that comes to mind is "ANNOYING". The second, "WHATEVER". I wonder now, do people take this book out?

Biblio Reader said...

It reminds me of the book I'm reading...

Obviously, the most important part of a woman is her skirt. Everything else can be be shrunk down.

Alissa said...

Is it me or does the artowrk sweem very un-Buddhist?

JamiSings said...

Alissa - I agree. Actually, to me the whole business with the mom's head screams to me "If you follow Buddhism then you're a pinhead!" Subliminal messaging there?

Michael5000 said...

Take a whack at making something resembling a Klee or a Pollock some time. Report back. The reason people regard them as amazing artists is that they were amazing artists -- and amazing craftsmen.

This particular cover is pretty representative of a very common, and very twee, sort of contemporary style. It turns me off too. It's kind of like the modern version of lace doilies.

BikerPuppy said...

Rex and Michael, I'll take your word for it about Klee and Pollock, but what about Mondrian?? Anyway, as long as someone enjoys it, they should buy it, hang it, and love it. Just stop putting it near my office. :)

Maughta said...

Okay, now I have to stop in and defend Mondrian. If you don't believe me, read The Burglar who Painted like Mondrian by Lawrence Block. Heck, just read his whole "burglar" series. It's delightful!

caite said...

I like the orange color. ;-)

Marla said...

I have to step in and defend Pollock, Klee, et al., too. Non-representational painting is not everyone's cup of tea, but I can assure you there is a great deal of talent and deliberation there. As a working artist, I can say that I wish I could paint like that - it's definitely not something just anyone can do. (Although that said, I also am intrigued by your comment that if you can do it, it's not art - maybe you're not giving yourself enough credit. All humans are creative; it's a basic ability and not limited to a special few. Try it, you'll like it!)

But TOTALLY agree with you on this cover. Ug-lee. It reminds me of a one-panel cartoon by either Kliban or Gary Larson captioned "The callous sophisticates laughed at Judy's tiny head."

xenobiologista said...

"Twee". Good word.

Anonymous said...

You may be well-read in terms of books, but you really need some art & design classes if you think this is bad. Do you know what illustration is? Probably not.

Anonymous said...

Oh geeze, you modern art apologists are annoying. I say this as an artist.