Some People Can't Surf: The Graphic Design of Art Chantry [Julie Lasky]



Book Reviews
Some People Can't Surf: The Graphic Design of Art Chantry [Julie Lasky]
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Feb 1, 2001, 03:40

SOME PEOPLE CAN'T SURF: THE GRAPHIC DESIGN OF ART CHANTRY by Julie Lasky; Chronicle Books, 2001

To look at any one individual piece in Art Chantry's body of work—from the gazillion show flyers/posters he's created, to the hundreds of record sleeves/jackets conceived, the scads of magazine covers, spot pieces, and ad copy—most people probably wouldn't invest much thought into what an impressive, idiosyncratic body of work the man has laid down. Plop this sucker open on your lap though, and it becomes abundantly clear how amazingly prolific he has been over the years and what a fine body of work it is too. Chantry comes from the old school of cut-and-paste layout—yeah, he's even more punk than you, Punkie... With Xerox machine at the ready, he's manipulated, distorted, and deteriorated the visual elements of style and fabricated them into a lush tapestry of subversive form and substance that's hard to ignore. Julie Lasky, former managing editor of Print magazine, and current editor of both Interiors and Dwell magazines provides a fairly comprehensive if not exhaustive examination of the man's output, detailing his evolution as a graphic artist, commenting on the varied processes and attitude behind the iconography. The overview she provides is anything but boringly academic. It's a fairly cogent representation. Well deserved and plenty entertaining. You don't have to be a student of design to appreciate the eye candy or fail to laugh out loud at the philosophies implemented behind the magic. In fact, it's because of Chantry's temperamental predisposition that his work succeeds on so many different levels. Your coffee table beckons.

-Peter Davis

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