William Blake 1460, $150
The summer after I graduated high school, I went to London with a friend. We visited the Tate and I became smitten with William Blake's art. I didn't have a lot of money to spend on that trip but I did buy a bunch of postcards of his art as souvenirs.
About five years later, when I landed in California from the East Coast, I got into a heated discussion with a friend's husband. He mentioned that he was a fan of Blake's poems. I said that I was a fan of Blake's art. He said I must be mistaken, that Blake didn't make art. I insisted that he did. (Now, keep in mind, this was the mid-1990s and there wasn't an instant way to verify who was right.) We tabled that discussion, and our relationship, indefinitely.
Now I see that the Tate has collaborated with Dr. Martens, bringing William Blake shoes to market. Shoes covered in his art.
The first one is the 1460 boot which is printed with Blake's "Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils" and the second is the three-eyed 1461 shoe which is covered in "The House of Death."
William Blake 1461, $130
It took 23 years but I feel tremendously vindicated.
(Dangerous Minds) Read the rest
The story goes that William Blake worked until the very day he died. His final drawing was said to be a portrait of his wife sitting by his deathbed. Earlier in the day, he had spent his last shilling on a pencil. He'd been commissioned two years earlier by friend and patron (and fellow painter) John Linnell to do a series of illustrations for Dante's The Divine Comedy. Friends would frequently give Blake work to keep him and his wife fed and to keep him creating art. It was these images that he was working on when, on August 12, 1827, he finally laid down his pencil and left his “mundane shell,” allegedly drifting away “signing songs of his own design.”
There have been other published editions of Blake's 102 sketches and watercolors in his Dante series, but nothing has ever come close to this stunning edition from Taschen. We've come to expect impressive art books from Taschen, but the “out of box experience” on this gem was off the charts. First, it's impressively big and heavy, at an outsized 18” x 12” and 324 pages. When I opened the shipping box and found a cardboard briefcase inside, I thought whatever was inside better be something special. Hefting this giant buckram-covered tome from the case and cracking it open soon had me gasping, squealing, and feeling as dizzy as a teenage girl at a Beatles' concert.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious William Blake obsession. Read the rest