Synopses & Reviews
Over the past decade, James Jean has won critical acclaim for his art (including a record eight Eisner Awards in a row for his cover illustrations for the DC Comics series Fables), hosted celebrated gallery exhibitions around the globe, received numerous design awards, and developed a fan base of devoted collectors. Rebus showcases new work as well as important creative milestones including the eerie dreamscapes of his oil paintings, the elaborate installations and animations he created for Prada in 2008, his gorgeous illustration work, as well as never-before-published pages from his detailed sketchbooks. Page after page, this monumental book reveals new ideas and explorations from an artist whose voice, influence, and vision remain simply unparalleled.
"The first thing to notice about this large-format book is its spectacular red gilt edges. The book is so highly designed as to have typeface too minuscule to read. No matter, since the self-indulgent text does not add insight to the images by the graphic illustrator-turned fine artist. Jean is under heavy influence from Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch, Margaret Keane, and Japanese anime. When not finding themselves in disturbing situations, children and young women are overtaken by a dizzying array of organic matter, rendered in exacting detail. It can be both hypnotic and overwhelming. Known for his album covers, this boy wonder (he's barely 30 ) wants to be taken seriously for his painting and fine art. 'The work in Kindling was a bridge over which I could leave commercial work behind to pursue my personal art practice,' he writes of his first solo gallery show. Yet the most interesting sections of this book show the wallpaper that Jean designed for two different Prada stores. Each tells a different story, which is magical in the illustration, but tedious when described in the artist's own words. Like high fashion, Jean's work can't help having a commercial edge, and that's what makes it intriguing. It is pure spectacle, and so derivative as to be singular." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
James Jean was born in Taiwan in 1979 and currently lives in Los Angeles. He graduated from New York City's School of Visual Arts in 2001. Highlights of his groundbreaking illustration career include work for such clients as the New York Times, Atlantic Records, and Nike, as well as a series of elaborate wallpaper installations for fashion icon Prada. Since 2007, Jean has focused his career on fine art painting, book projects, and gallery exhibitions.