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  • By Shannon Yarbrough
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Human(e) Beings - Animal Art and More!" When artist Gil Jawetz emailed me asking if I would be interested in reviewing a book of his art, I immediately said yes without even looking at the preview first. And I can proudly say, I was not disappointed! Human(e) Beings, is a collections of paintings from three shows. The first section is called “Blues”, and depicts themes of New Orleans musicians and jazz halls. Although Jawetz paints with oil, his style is not too heavily detailed and does leave a lot of depiction up to the eyes of the viewer. For instance, there is one painting called Preservation Hall which shows a small band made up of a piano player, a few brass players, and a percussionist in a small wooden room with a white light hanging over head. The wooden planks making up the walls are just quick brush strokes of brown and tan. The musicians’ legs and chairs fade away to silhouette, completely leaving it up to the eyes to know what shapes are there outside the... More > light. And yet, Jawetz’s attention to detail such as the shine of the light on their faces, or the drummer looking right at you, even a window in the background with a twinkle of light provide just enough substance to the painting to make you stop and commit it to memory. I have. The same goes for another painting of blues favorite Lead Belly. Jawetz has not painted him with any instrument although the man could play about seven different ones from piano to guitar to accordion. It is a simple bust painting of black and white for his tux, and yet the heavy shading and highlighting in the face are enough to show the life lines of this man and tell his story. You don’t need to see the arm of a twelve string to know this man played the blues. The second section is called “Big Dogs,” and presents 15 paintings of man’s best friend. Each is a close up perspective from the dog’s point of view, and if you are an animal lover then every single one of these will bring a smile to your face. Gil again focuses his detail on giving the dogs’ face superb attention. The backgrounds are usually just a swirl of colors from green and blue to represent grass and sky, to just a whirl wind of tints of blue to depict night. Gil used photographs of beloved pets for inspiration and the lively personalities of dogs definitely shines through. My favorite in this section is of four dogs and a bird. You can see this painting for yourself on Gil’s website. The last section of the book, “Human(e) Beings,” brings humans and pets together. None of these are traditional portraits of a person with a dog or cat posing for a photo. From a lady in a red evening gown sleeping on a white mattress with a white dog lying next to her, to a dog and a tennis ball and only the leg of his owner showing, there is a nice balance of angles from both the human and the animal eye. One painting is done completely in shades of white and blue and is of a lady and her dog lying on the sofa watching TV. The television is not even in the painting, but the glow of the TV set on their faces is enough for the person looking at the painting to know exactly what is being depicted. With the holidays fast approaching, I highly recommend this collection as a gift for the art enthusiast or animal lover. If you are like me and appreciate brilliant art or photography, then Human(e) Beings would also make a nice coffee table book for your collection. Visit Gil on the web to see more of his work or to contact him about commissioned pieces of work. Read the full review at< Less
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Product Details

Buskerdog Books
June 10, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.84 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
Product ID
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