About this title:
Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), set in an alternative-universe version of World War II, has been called a modern Finnegan’s Wake for its challenging language, wild anachronisms, hallucinatory happenings, and fever-dream imagery. With Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow, artist Zak Smith at once eases and expands readers’ experience of the book. A leading exponent of punk-based, DIY art, Smith here presents his most ambitious project to date — an art book exactly as long as the work it’s interpreting: 760 drawings, paintings, photos, and less definable images in 760 pages. Extraordinary tableaux of the detritus of war — a burned-out Königstiger tank, a melted machine gun — coexist alongside such phantasmagoric Pynchon inventions as the “stumbling bird” and “Girgori the octopus.” Smith has stated his aim to be “as literal as possible” in interpreting Gravity’s Rainbow, but his images are as imaginative and powerfully unique as the prose they honor.
About the Author:
Zak Smith: Brooklyn, New York
Zak Smith was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1976 and grew up in Washington, DC. After receiving a BFA from Cooper Union in 1998, he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and went on to receive an MFA from Yale University in 2001. Smith's body of work primarily comprises portraits, abstract paintings, and illustrations executed in acrylic. An enduring interest in comic books informs his dynamic and obsessively detailed depictions of people, objects, and stories. Allied with punk and hardcore culture and the DIY aesthetic associated with these movements, Smith draws on traditions of decorative art to produce visually complex, labor-intensive pictures characterized by intricate patterns and vivid coloration. The Gravity's Rainbow illustrations, which were featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, are now in the collection of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Other public collections containing Smith's work include the Museum of Modern Art and the Progressive Corporation. Zak Smith is represented by Fredericks & Freiser in New York City. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Steve Erickson: Los Angeles, CA
Steve (Stephen Michael) Erickson is an American novelist, essayist, and critic. His seven novels—such as Our Ecstatic Days and Tours of the Black Clock—escape traditional classifications; no literary category describes them adequately. They are usually placed on the borders of surrealism, or magic realism. Currently, he is a teacher with the CalArts MFA writing program and the editor of the literary magazine Black Clock. He also has written about film for Los Angeles magazine since 2001.
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