Art books are reaching new heights and Pictoplasma is one of the first I’ve seen. The others are Designer Shock’s DSOS1 : The User’s Manual and Anime. All three books are published by German publisher, Die Gestalten Verlag, and they’re onto something here.
The book is a showcase of contemporary art created by international graphic designers, animators, artists, and production companies. Thaler states in the book’s foreword, “Character design is the most universal of graphic languages. Characters work independent of cultural context and narrative structure. They are entirely self-referential, defined by clearly distinctive characteristics and have a life of their own.”
Thaler is absolutely correct when saying the characters have taken on a life of their own. Furthermore, the art attempts to convey the artist’s message emotionally while reaching out to its viewer in the hopes of bonding.
The entire book is pure eye candy in every freehand drawing, pixel, vector graphic, 3-D objects, and an encyclopedia of resurfacing motifs. Even non-Internet surfers will recognize many of the colorful and creative designs because they are found other media including television, books, and video games.
The index lists all the titles of the art, contributors’ names along with their email and Web addresses. As a confessed non-artist, I’m in awe as I flip through pages of expressive and colorfully rendered art. The book can be much more than just another art book, it can be an inspiration for those in the process of creating. This is the coffee table book for geeks and Web designers and it’ll go just fine with the books containing the Monets, Picassos, and Renoirs.
The book has a companion Web site and you can view pages at the publisher’s Web site.
AUTHORS: Peter Thaler (Editor), Michael Mischler (Editor), Hendrik Hellige (Editor)
PUBLISHER: Die Gestalten Verlag
PUBLICATION DATE: November 2001