Art-i-Facts

By Catarina Figueiredo Soares

When networking or at any event have you ever felt like you wonder about good topics of conversation to get things started with new people? Fear no more because there is help out there. For example what about this new book Artifacts? A compendium that brings together fascinating facts, figures, and findings in all things art. It is a combination of different thoughts and stories that have nothing to do with each other except they are all related to the art world and are spun into one single book. What a great book to reference for a quiz at family events or a night in with your friends. If you want to share knowledge, have fun, and always have what to say, keep reading more here in Art-i-Facts.

Artifacts is a great book to have at home to read, re-read and share with your friends or family. Not only does it sparks curiosity but is full of unexpected details about artists; things that you just are unlikely to know. Did you know that Agnes Martin, painter, held 35 jobs before becoming an artist? Or that Hiroshi Sugimoto, architect and photographer, collected glass eyes? This book is full of the most obscure and lesser known quirky facts that you didn’t know about your favourite artists. 

Artifacts book

Presenting personal and illuminating facts that are hard to locate and even harder to save, this book gives you information gathered from biographies, memoirs, interviews, museum catalogues, magazine profiles, among other sources. 

Artifacts first chapter is about the artists. It reveals interesting facts like odd jobs and side hustles, astrological signs, artists’ collections and more. For example artist, Picasso’s real name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, almost as long as his career. The artists also leaned on furry pets for inspiration, company, and friendship. William Wegman, photographer, was in love with the Weimaraner dog breed and had more than 9 dogs. On the opposite side we have Louise Nevelson, sculptor that had two cats with funny names like Cous-cous and Fat Fat. 

Artifacts book

The second chapter dwells on art school. Discussing the university of life, reflections on teaching and learning, and admissions. You might not know this but, La Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, expelled Salvador Dalí, artist, Picasso dropped out and Francisco Goya, painter, was rejected. Some artists didn’t even go to art school, they chose the ‘university of life’ and were self-taught like the painters Vincent Van Gogh, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Rosalba Carriera amid others. 

The other three chapters are Art StudioArt Museum and Art World. The Art Studio section discloses the artists’ creative routines, reflections on titles, the pencil scale (quality and thickness of a graphite pencil) and much more. The Art Museum part gives you insight into the art museum acronyms, symbols of art and what they mean and even the meaning of hand gestures or the position of hands in artworks. Last but not least, the Art World chapter leaves you appalled with crime and you discover how many paintings are missing, the price tags and even the contrast between NFTs and Cubism.

Artifacts book

Phaidon have just published this book on the third of February 2022. They are a premier global publisher of the creative arts works with the world’s most influential artists, writers, chefs, and thinkers having more than 1 500 titles in print.

This book is extraordinary to gain a new perspective on art and the art world. It feels like a small private journal where you would note down important facts or notes to never forget. It is full of original illustrations and diagrams to inspire and illuminate for a relaxed reading. Everything about art and artists spun into one book; who wouldn’t like that? Share with your friends and family and have fun with it. 

Created and published by Phaidon the book is available at Phaidon store.

If you enjoyed reading Art-i-Facts, why not check out Scent Celebration?

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