Happy 2015 ! As you take a break from the new year merrymaking and booze, here’s a look at my favorite art books of 2014.
I reviewed a total of 85 art books this year; you can see the entire list here. I hope you find a at least a few to be of interest. ( do note that not all the books listed here were published in 2014. ) Enjoy ! –
1) Velázquez : Complete Works (Taschen)
A stupendous volume showcasing the masterpieces from one of my favorite painters, the Spanish master Diego Velázquez. Taschen’s series of Complete Works art books are so good that 3 of them made it into my favorite list this year.
Criterion Designs celebrates the very best of illustration, typography, graphic design and of course motion pictures in this beautiful volume featuring a huge and delicious selection of cover art from their film collection.
The best of the genga ( key animation drawings ) and layouts featured in the 3rd Rebuild Of Evangelion anime that will simply blow your mind away.
Click here to read the full book review for volume 1. | Buy From Amazon Japan
Click here to read the full book review for volume 2. | Buy From Amazon Japan
4) Sorayama : XL-Masterworks Edition
Quite possibly the best and biggest volume of art work from the master of erotic illustration, Sorayama Hajime. If can choose only one book from his publications, this is it.
A deluxe sized art book showcasing anime legend Otomo Katsuhiro’s huge body of poster art work for his animated films, commercial illustration jobs and more, spanning over a couple of decades. A must have for Otomo fans.
A staggering and sumptuous collection of haunting paintings by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, whose allegorical creations on canvas are often an intriguing mix of surrealistic fantasy and grotesque, phantasmagoric visions.
A generous collection of Genga (key animation) drawings and layouts from Mamoru Oshii’s anime masterpiece Ghost In The Shell, reproduced in great clarity and sharpness for the first time in print.
Incredibly detailed and beautiful layout boards from Miyazaki Hayao’s anime The Wind Rises. These layout boards are not found in the official art of book.
A massive 750 paintings by French academic painter William Bouguereau are beautiful reproduced in this thick, 500 pages art book. Seeing some of the originals in Musee D’Orsay was one of the highlights of my Paris trip a few years back.
Charming character designs and illustrations by Akihiko Yoshida from Square Enix’s Bravely Default . There isn’t a dedicated art book featuring his art work (yet), but this volume comes close.
Rockin’ Jelly Bean’s Lowbrow illustrations of overtly sexualized, naked women might be offensive to some but there is little argument on the superb quality of his art. This book contains a sprawling collection of his fantastic work that runs the gamut from records and label covers, flyers, to movie posters, action figure concept art and personal sketches.
Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s sensuous female subjects are gloriously reproduced in this giant tome from Taschen’s Complete Works series, a beautiful work of art unto itself. This is my favourite art book of 2014.
Farewell To Weapons ( Buki Yo Saraba ) is a deluxe sized manga + art book featuring the original short comic by Akira creator Otomo Katsuhiro, as well as artwork from the Farewell To Weapons short animated film, one of three that make up Short Peace.
The super gifted anime director Kon Satoshi ( Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers ) passed away at the early age of 46 in 2010. This art book reproduces most, if not all of the original pieces from his retrospective exhibition “One Thousand Years Of Memento” held back in 2011.
A collection of cover art and other illustrations from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. This book features more recent art work from the BPRD series and other material that were created after the release of his first art book The Art of Hellboy.
I look forward to another bountiful year of art books in 2015 ! I’ll love to hear about the art books you’ve enjoyed in 2014. Also be sure to check out my favorite art books of 2013 and 2012, if you haven’t.