Re-reading “Inside the Painter’s Studio”

joeFigI am re-reading Joe Fig‘s book, Inside the Painter’s Studio, and it’s as much a pleasure to read this time as it was the first. One of my favorite parts of the book is the little nuggets of artistic wisdom peppered throughout. (My copy is now covered in highlighter and has bits of paper marking pages.) Here is one I love by Gregory Amenoff: “I think that artists have a responsibility to work as fiercely as they can in their studios in exchange for the privilege of making things that the world doesn’t necessarily ask for.” Yes!

The book is part of a larger project for which Fig interviewed artists and made miniature reproductions of their work spaces. In the book are twenty-four of these interviews accompanied by studio photos and images of Joe’s sculptures. The interviews cover topics such as how the painters structure their day, what tools and materials they use, process, titling work, motos to live by, and advice for young artists. If only for a peek into these artists’ practice, the book is interesting and inspiring, but Joe Fig’s work is incredible in its attention to detail and verisimilitude. It’s sometimes hard to tell which images are of actual studios, and which are the models! Knowing that it is miniature only adds to its appeal for me. There’s a “Where’s Waldo” element to the images of his work as I find myself searching for tiny details through his reproductions. The book also includes brief biographies of all the featured artists as well as a Q&A with Joe Fig himself. It’s nice to know the book is in its sixth reprinting; it was clearly a labor of love.


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