Davis, Eleanor – Why Art?
See, I had this idea in my head of what this book would be like. Eleanor would list various types of art, how it made different people feel, whether any variation had any more inherent value than another, etc. And it did start off that way, sort of! But at the end of the day she was, as always, far too clever and creative for me to guess what was coming. This is one of those cases where you’re better off knowing little or nothing before reading this, so if you’re familiar with some of her other work and are just here wondering if this one is good too, well, yes. It’s very good, in fact. So, safe in that knowledge, please wander off and buy a copy to see for yourself. If you’re somehow unfamiliar with her work or need a little more convincing, or maybe think that title is too pretentious to give a shot, you’re reading this all wrong. This does start off more or less how I guessed, with her showing a few different types of art, why people utilize them, how they make them feel, etc. That’s simplifying things in a big way, but still: my guess was in the ballpark. As it goes on we meet different artists and their different styles, and eventually see their plans for a show they’re putting on together. Disaster strikes, as a huge storm threatens to destroy the gallery and take the artists out with it, and from here I can’t say much of anything without giving it all away. I’ll just say that the ending completely blew me away, while still being one of those “in hindsight I should have seen this coming” endings. The thing about that type of ending: more often than not, it just means that artist knows exactly what they’re doing and had every aspect of the story so nailed down that there’s no other way things could have gone. I find myself tempted towards nostalgia more and more these days, so maybe I’ll dig up some of her older comics. Or maybe they’re things she prefers stay buried? Eh, I’ll think about it. Either way, this is Eleanor at the top of her game and everybody who has ever asked themselves that title question should give this a shot. $15