Art Rules! (And how to break them)

 The title of a new book release cleverly points to both how rad art is, and how for all its brilliance, the creation of artwork is bound up with a series of inherited regulations.

Art Rules! cover
Art Rules! cover

This publication, however, offers a helping hand to arms outstretched and ready to throw the rulebook out the window.

Eduardo Paolozzi.
Eduardo Paolozzi.

Art Rules! (and how to break them)  by Mel Gooding is published by Redstone press and takes the form of a box containing a book and a series illustrated cards, aiming to show readers “how modern art works, and to look at it creatively , with new eyes”.

Liz Rideal, Finger Ferns, photobooth photos, 2000
Liz Rideal, Finger Ferns, photobooth photos, 2000

As if to drive that point home even further, the inside lid of the box shouts artist Joseph Beuys’ quote: “Every human being is an artist”.

Each of the 42 cards in the box shows a modern art work, with text on the other side explaining not just the details of the image and its maker, but also showing how readers can use the work as inspiration for their own creativity.

Anthony Gormley, Field
Anthony Gormley, Field

The card for Anthony Gormley’s Field installation, for instance, shows the cute little terracotta critters as a starting point from which users can explore making art through multiplying an object or an image.

Tim Davies, from the series Figures in a Landscape, cut postcard, 2004-8
Tim Davies, from the series Figures in a Landscape, cut postcard, 2004-8

Another of our favourite cards is Figures in a Landscape by Tim Davies, a cut postcard that shows figures in front of a mountain, with their full forms only visible as a reflection in the water. Readers are tasked with creating their own version by cutting out a significant part of an existing postcard.

Derek Boshier, Dreaming Sensuality, treated photograph, 2006
Derek Boshier, Dreaming Sensuality, treated photograph, 2006

Thanks to this unassuming little box, we can all set about staging our own mini art rebellions. Just so long as we follow the instructions on the cards.

Art Rules! cover
Art Rules! cover

Art Rules! (and how to break them) is published by Redstone Press on 22 October priced £19.95. Redstone is offering 10% off everything (including Art Rules!) this month at the website www.theredstoneshop.comThe code for the discount off is Autumn10 when you reach the checkout.

Latest articles