Vivian Solomon, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Vivian Solomon)
A brief history of contemporary, modern, and pop art, wrapped up in a novel. Martin's descriptions of specific art works (with photographs) are lovely. I gave the book only 4 stars because I was not thrilled by the plot. But I did read the book in one sitting, so I recommend it.
Pamela Barrett, March 9, 2012 (view all comments by Pamela Barrett)
Our storyteller, Daniel Franks, met Lacey Yeager when they were in college, where they bonded over their interest in art. He follows his art passion by writing art reviews for magazines and newspapers while she immerses herself in the world of buying and selling art: gleaning lessons as she works her way up from the basement of Sotheby’s and from behind the scenes of glamorous New York Galleries. Young and beautiful, Lacey is also smart, shrewd, and cunning in her climb to the top. She learns the ropes quickly, and Daniel, who has always been under her spell, follows her every move.
This novel is an insider’s look at the art world as told in a way that only Steve Martin could tell��"art history as a soap opera, never boring his tidbits about the artists and their creations are spot on. I spent hours asking my artist husband about these insights which he verified by dragging out books of specific paintings and artist bios. I would love to recommend it to students everywhere, but for one thing: the amount of sexual content is too much. One of my favorite quotes was “She understood that while a collector’s courtship of a picture was ostensibly romantic, at its root was lust.” Lust is part of the art world; too many artists slept with their models, each other and gallery owners over the centuries, but I think that he went a little overboard with descriptions of Lacey’s promiscuity. The details of her affairs had me skipping pages (TMI Steve) the title could have also been “Lust of the Eyes, and Lust of the Flesh.” I’m giving Object of Beauty 4 stars for the writing, story, and all the art education.
Edgar Borchardt, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by Edgar Borchardt)
If you only knew Steve Martin from his stand-up comedy or his movie work you would never think him capable of such a subtle. honest and humane work. The novel chronicles the career of Lacey Yeager, an ambitious art lover/dealer and the New York art world in which she lives and finds meaning. Martin presents the foibles and virtues of his protagonist in a manner that reminds me of a modern Anthony Trollope or a secular Frederick Buechner.
Teresa Melone, January 5, 2012 (view all comments by Teresa Melone)
My Mom gave me this book, because she knows I usually read digital books and thought I should have this in hardback, as I am a watercolor artist. Boy, was she right. Not only is this an engaging story, but it is an art textbook in the best way possible. The color art photos are an integral part of the story, and Steve Martin is a genius.
I'm not sure how he came to be a genius, as he grew up in Orange County, California. Life is a puzzle, but this book is a wonder.
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