Thursday, July 23, 2009

Every Girl's Dream

I love this book.

When Mondadori first presented the Italian edition in London two years ago it was love at first sight. Not for everyone, of course, none of my male colleagues gave this book of fantastic weddings in some of the most breathtaking locations in Italy even a passing glance! Men!

But publisher Leslie Stoker of Stewart, Tabori, and Chang was as charmed as I was and eventually acquired World English rights. Now I am holding in my hands one of the first American copies of this sumptuous volume, WEDDINGS IN ITALY.

I wish I could meet the authors Angelo Garini and Enzo Miccio, Italian wedding planners to the stars. These guys are location scouts, set designers, producers, stylists, fashion consultants and therapists. (The suave Enzo was recently spotted by The Sartorialist) Here's just a sample of what they deal with every day:

" A young couple, but demanding. They want to amaze their many guests. During the search for the ideal location various possibilities are put forward, and in the end the desire for a place that can truly surprise takes us in the direction of a setting that is already part of a dream: an island!"

But of course! Every couple needs their own island!

The locations are incredible: Venice, the Alps, Tuscany, the Riviera and more. The dresses romantic and wonderful. And the cakes!!! My favorite part might just be the cakes ....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stephen Hannock - The Luminescent Diary of a Unique American Artist

Images of the Connecticut River conjure up memories of childhood for me. In the summertime, my family would drive from New York to New Hampshire crossing the Connecticut River in the early part of our journey. Then later, we would meet up with its wilder relatives, the tributary rivers Ompompanoosuc in Vermont and finally the Ammanoosuc in New Hampshire. In addition, my parents were great fans of the Hudson River School painters and Thomas Coles' Oxbow (the distinctive view of the Connecticut River near Mt. Holyoke Massachusetts) was a favorite. I liked this picture too, it turned a familiar river landscape into a kind of end-of-day, nostalgic revery.

I was fortunate to be in Verona when Hudson Hill's beautiful new monograph of Stephen Hannock's work was on press. Hannock is particularly known for his luminous paintings of views of the Oxbow, which refer back to the same scene by Frederick Church and Thomas Cole. I was on press with publisher Leslie van Breen and designer/art director David Skolkin as they painstakingly saw sheet after sheet of the book's jacket which depicts this famous landscape. There is this particular blue-green-yellow-gold glow in the sky that had to be just right ....

I love Hannock's drawings, too, of his travels around the world, of his friends. And I like the way, in some paintings, he includes long passages of handwriting that - from a distance - meld into the landscapes and add this subtle entryway into the artists thoughts, dreams, unconscious.

The Oxbow, After Church, After Cole, Flooded, Green Light. By Stephen Hannock. Currently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


In April my beloved four-footed buddy, Forest, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Despite the best efforts of our vet, cancer specialists, and a wonderful canine surgeon, we lost Forest last week.

You hope until the end that somehow you will beat the odds, even thought it was clear from the first diagnosis that we would not. It is very hard to come to grips with this loss and hard to accept. And it has tinged these past weeks with sadness.

But I want to keep writing about books that I love and what's going on out there in the big wide world of publishing and printing, at least from my vantage point.

So, do stay tuned. There's more "Art Book Talk" to come ....