Shelf Esteem No. 8

Don’t worry, I haven’t run out of fabulous images of overstuffed bookshelves and cozy home libraries. I realize that posting such an anemic “library” might make some of you think that I am scraping the bottom of the barrel for Shelf Esteem content. Not so.   

Cozy factor: Despite having many of the trappings of cozy, the overall effect is not very cozy.

The Shelves: They are quite odd. They don’t seem to be one thing or the other. The unit looks built-in, yet it is of a size that makes one wonder why they bothered. It seems like a lot of effort, money, and thought went into making this, but the overall effect is rather cheap looking and not very pleasantly scaled. Plus it seems like overkill for the small amount of storage it provides.

The Books: I will let you decide. Three picture books on golf. Michener, Le Carre, McMurtry, Iriving, Crichton, Grisham, Dan Brown

Is this person a reader? Yes, but really…in this case who cares?

The book I would read if I had to pick one: I think I would try one of the Le Carre. I think I would enjoy these despite having some problems getting into one of his books in the past.

What gives Thomas? Why are you wasting our time with this one? Simple, the John Currin painting above the shelves. I love the surreal (or perhaps it is super- or hyper-real) quality of his work. I mentioned it once before when I commented on the Persephone cover of Mariana by Monica Dickens. His works sell in the $500,000 range. Can you imagine having an art budget that big? We saw a major exhibit of his work a few years ago, but I forget where. His work is fascinating. And it has been so long since I did a Sunday Painting. So here are few more for your perusal.

11 thoughts on “Shelf Esteem No. 8

  1. Megan December 31, 2011 / 6:57 pm

    It's certainly not much of a library, but the painting is definitely captivating. I'm so impressed with the eyes in Currin's portraits, they totally draw me in.

    If I had to pick a book from their collection, I'd try Streets of Laredo. I see it next door to Lonesome Dove, which I loved!


  2. Anna van Gelderen January 1, 2012 / 6:46 am

    I love the painting in the picture, too. It is obviously a modern version of Botticelli's Birth of Venus and very well done.


  3. Susan in TX January 2, 2012 / 4:02 pm

    The “shelf” might work as a bedside table – just kidding! :) I'm not taking to Currin, for the same reason that Megan is – there's something about the eyes being slightly off that kind of gives me the creeps. The woman with the cameo necklace looks like I imagined Hepzibah Pyncheon from Hawthorn's House of Seven Gables. I would love to have that art budget, though… :)


  4. ArchitectDesign™ January 3, 2012 / 2:09 pm

    I thought the same as you – odd little bookcase -but the John Currin intrigued me. he's my favorite artist as well as a fellow CMU alum!


  5. Thomas at My Porch January 6, 2012 / 10:04 am

    Megan: I haven't read anything by McMurtry except for his autobiography of books.

    Anna: He draws a lot from Botticelli in his work. Many were a little too racy for My Porch.

    Diane: I know, tiny. Maybe good for a guest room.

    Steve: The link was pretty funny about the shelves. But I noticed that some of the other captions are kind of weak.

    Susan: I think you are right about a bedside table. I think this could work well for the TBR pile. And to have such an art budget!

    Stefan: I wish I could remember where John and I saw a Currin show a few years ago. I think it may have been NYC. John didn't think he liked Currin until he saw the show. Then he became a fan.


  6. Thomas at My Porch January 6, 2012 / 10:06 am

    Norman: Welcome to the blogging world. I am going to have to go check out your blog.


  7. The Down East Dilettante January 17, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    Actually, actually, actually, I LIKE the low breakfront bookcase, and in fact it would be the perfect solution to an arrangement problem in the room where I sit. The portrait makes wonderful counterpoint. As for the books, one can give them to the public library book sale and start over..


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