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An Artist's America    by Michael Albert order for
Artist's America
by Michael Albert
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Pop artist Michael Albert has put together a fun book featuring pictures of his own pop art. Each picture is accompanied by an explanation of why he chose a particular subject, what a picture represents to him, and how long the picture took to complete.

Albert, whose style has been compared to Andy Warhol's, makes montages and collages out of consumer packaging. He is known for Cerealism - which he calls Pop Cubist - collages featuring cereal brands. An example of his art featured in the book is Etude: Study in Candy Logos, A to Z, in which Albert collected candy bar wrappers and designed them in alphabetical order. He explains: 'I think this piece illustrates the incredible variety of choices we have in America.'

Another fascinating mosaic-like work is The Gettysburg Address, designed in bright, colorful letters cut out from various media. His Mount Rushmore piece is very tongue-in-cheek, with popular consumer product icons like Mr. Clean, the Quaker Oats Man, Cap'n Crunch and Colonel Sanders standing in for the presidents.

This intriguing book has inspired my little first-grade artist to collect empty boxes of food to make her own collage creation. To me, any book that inspires positive action and/or creativity is worthy of a place on my shelf.

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