world atlas of street artPainted murals first appeared in Latin America in the early 20th century; in the 1950s, spray-can graffiti associated with Latino gangs followed, notably the “cholo” graffiti of Los Angeles. Today, street art has traveled to nearly every corner of the globe, evolving into a highly complex and ornate art form.

The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti is the definitive survey of international street art, focusing on the world’s most influential urban artists and artworks. Since the lives and works of urban artists are inextricably linked to specific streets and places, this beautifully illustrated volume features specially commissioned “city artworks” that provide an intimate understanding of these metropolitan landscapes. Organized geographically by country and city, more than 100 of today’s most important street artists – including Espo in New York, Shepard Fairey in Los Angeles, Os Gêmeos in Brazil, and Anthony Lister in Australia – are profiled alongside key examples of their work. The evolution of street art and graffiti within each region is also chronicled, providing essential historical context. With contributions by the foremost authorities on street art and graffiti, this landmark publication provides a nuanced understanding of a widespread contemporary art practice.

 The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti emphasizes urban art’s powerful commitment to a spontaneous creativity that is inherently connected to the architecture of the metropolis. (description from publisher)

modern art dessertsTaking cues from works by Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, and Matisse, pastry chef Caitlin Freeman, of Miette bakery and Blue Bottle Coffee fame, creates a collection of uniquely delicious dessert recipes (with step-by-step assembly guides) that give readers all they need to make their own edible masterpieces in Modern Art Desserts.

From a fudge pop based on an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture to a pristinely segmented cake fashioned after Mondrian’s well-known composition, this collection of uniquely delicious recipes for cookies, parfait, gelées, ice pops, ice cream, cakes, and inventive drinks has everything you need to astound friends, family, and guests with your own edible masterpieces. Taking cues from modern art’s most revered artists, these twenty-seven show stopping desserts exhibit the charm and sophistication of works by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Henri Matisse, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Avedon, Wayne Thiebaud, and more. Featuring an image of the original artwork alongside a museum curator’s perspective on the original piece and detailed, easy-to-follow directions (with step-by-step assembly guides adapted for home bakers), Modern Art Desserts will inspire a kitchen gallery of stunning treats. (description from publisher)

This sumptuously illustrated book offers a completely new way of looking at the art of Vincent van Gogh, by exploring the artist’s approach to nature through his innovative use of the close-up view.

Focusing on the last years of the artist’s career–from 1886 until his death in July 1890–an international team of leading scholars in the field examines Van Gogh’s radical approach to the close-up and sets it in the context of contemporary and historical references, such as his hitherto unrecognized use of photography and his fascination with the Old Masters and with Japanese art and culture. One hundred key paintings dating from his arrival in Paris in 1886 to the end of his career show how Van Gogh experimented with unusual visual angles and the decorative use of color, cropping, and the flattening of his compositions. In some paintings he zoomed in on a tuft of grass or a single budding iris, while depicting shifting views of a field or garden in others.

Van Gogh: Up Close not only reveals how these paintings became the most radical and innovative in the artist’s body of work but also demonstrates that, far from being a spontaneous or undisciplined artist, Van Gogh was well aware of the history of art and was highly conscious of his efforts to break new ground with his work. (description from publisher)

One of the most difficult things an artist can face is finding an audience that is interested in her/his work.  Saatchi Gallery in London, UK is attempting to remedy this millenium-long problem.  Using the internet, Saatchi Gallery created Saatchi Online, providing both artists and art lovers with access to people around the globe.  Artists can register with Saatchi Online to display their work, and curators working for Saatchi Gallery create online galleries by topic, medium, and more.

These curated online galleries highlight the value of diverse art chosen well with the added benefit of mass access.  Viewers can purchase original works or prints of works, or simply troll the beautiful, shocking, unusual, and fantastical galleries that are free for visitors.  Once you click on a piece of art, thumbnails of other works by the same artist appear on the side of your screen, giving you the option of viewing even more.  Visitors can also create their own online galleries by selecting their favorite works.  To participate further, viewers can vote in the Saatchi Online Showdown.  Works by submitted artists are randomly paired, and viewers vote in the first round.  Winners in the second and third rounds are decided by a jury and judge respectively.  Lovers of all types of art will find something to appreciate in Saatchi Online, and a visit to this British internet creation can be an excellent way to kill an afternoon.