Book Review: The Art of Greg Spalenka

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Greg Spalenka's started his art career in the 80s and we're now finally being treated to a selection of his artworks.

Spalenka is a multi-disciplinary artist who loves to work with different mediums. He uses paint, charcoal, coloured pencils, pastels, collage, photography and digital software. Many mixed media creations are included. He even embraces digital by having QR codes on the index pages where you can be linked to webpages showing his inspiration, film reel and other resources.

The book collects his personal works as well as commissioned pieces. There are his early works, paintings, polaroid photos, sketches, portraits of contemporary artists living in New York, illustrations for magazines, ads book cover, visualisations he created for movies and more. It seems Mike Tyson is one of his inspiration and there are a few pages of art on him and his quotes. The spectrum of work he has created over three decades is interesting.

Greg Spalenka's style is difficult to describe. What's clear is the images he creates often have some sort of spiritual subtext or in some dream-like state. Visually, other than the portraits, the other works are like a meld of ideas and style. The paintings have a very textural feel, while the collages feel more spiritual with the blend of different medium and subject matter. Just look at the cover art for example. There's a nude figure with the face replaced by a butterfly, the background is very textural and there's some sort of graphic design motif blending the whole image together. Other artworks in the book evoke the same feeling.

There aren't much text other than the introduction for each chapter. I wished there were stories included behind each artwork because it would give more context to the work.

Those who follow Greg Spalenka's work or like more spiritual art can check out this book.

And for those who order from Greg Spalenka's website, he'll provide a signed edition with a drawing.

The Art of Greg Spalenka is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

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There's also a 500-copy limited deluxe edition that's sold from Greg Spalenka. This slipcase hardcover edition includes a different cover, one signed print (Impromptu), a signed and numbered signature plate on parchment paper (Desert Mistress) that is tipped into the book.

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