Monday, June 6, 2022

Sydney Leff's THINGS THAT WERE MADE FOR LOVE

 

Now available for pre-order from New Texture via SongsheetArt.com: Things That Were Made For Love: The Songsheet Art of Sydney Leff 1924–1932. This big, beautiful book is the first volume to collect artist Sydney Leff's designs for Jazz Age songsheet (sheet music) covers.

Sydney Leff (1901-2005) was one of the leading songsheet artists of the Jazz Age, and outlived all of his contemporaries. Unabashedly sentimental and good humored, his appealing characters (such as his signature "Leff Ladies"), graphic ingenuity, and eye-catching design work both documented and helped define the era.

Edited by Wyatt Doyle, Hal Glatzer, and Norman von Holtzendorff, this 178-page full color collection addresses the first part of Leff's prolific career as a songsheet artist. The editors are currently compiling a second volume that will take up where this book leaves off.


 Co-editor Norman von Holtzendoff addresses Leff's importance most eloquently in the book:

“A monograph about Sydney Leff is long overdue. Part of the explanation for this work being neglected is that sheet music cover art was long viewed as one of the lowest forms of commercial art. Even some commercial artists deemed it to be beneath them. It was not viewed as something of value. 

“Now, after Pop Art and other art movements challenged the high/low distinction in art, we are able to look at this artwork without the blinders of that old paradigm. And what do we see? Among other things, a contemporaneous visual expression of the Great American Songbook. We see a visual world that is a riotous collision and cross-pollination of styles, like jazz. We see the heady transitional period between the World Wars, between the ‘weird old America’ and the post-WWII global superpower.  

“We also see something by, from, and about New York City, which was the center of the world for popular music production and publication in the 1920s and 1930s. We see and feel the push and pull between the gloomy realities of the Depression years and people’s yearning for escape, fantasy, beauty, joy, and transcendence. And of course we see the rise of Hollywood, as the golden age of the American musical film dawns at the beginning of the 1930s.”

We are proselytizers for Leff and the work of his contemporaries in the field of songsheet illustration. Our goal is to make collections of their work available, affordable, and easily obtained by all interested readers. Toward that end, Things That Were Made For Love is available in two editions, and both are offered at special discounts if ordered from New Texture via SongsheetArt.com, where the deluxe hardcover can also be purchased bundled with an original vintage Leff songsheet (while supplies last). 

Both editions include the same content, but the deluxe hardcover offers superior printing and image reproduction. In our opinion, the superior quality of the hardcover makes it the edition to own. Recognizing the deluxe doesn't suit every budget, we are pleased to offer a softcover edition at a lower cover price.


Both editions will available widely, wherever books are sold, later this year. Currently the book can be pre-ordered exclusively (and at a discount) via SongsheetArt.com

Preview over 40 pages of the book on Issuu, here: https://bit.ly/3zhBSkV

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LOCKDOWN CORRESPONDENCES by Bill Shute available from KSE

 

A Wyatt Doyle photograph adorns Bill Shute's latest collection, Lockdown Correspondences

From Kendra Steiner Editions

Lockdown Correspondences contains three book-length poems: Tomorrow Won't Bring the Rain, Complementary Angles, and Two Self-Portraits (After Murillo), all written and originally published during the COVID lockdown (2020–2021), combined in one hardcover volume.

"These three works were published independently in 2020 and 2021 and have been well-received, though I myself never thought of them as any kind of trilogy or any unified series of works. However, a number of readers (I've gotten at least a dozen e-mails and texts on this subject) have suggested to me that I should consider combining the three pieces into one book, presented as a document of the pandemic/lockdown, and they argued that there is a consistency within the images/content and form/structure which is perhaps clearer to the reader-consumer than it was to the writer-creator. They also suggested that readers looking for literary responses to the pandemic, now that it is more in the rearview mirror with each passing day, would locate these works more easily in the literary marketplace if they were marketed as 'pandemic poems' in a more obvious manner. I'm certainly happy to oblige, and thus Lockdown Correspondences was created (and this combined volume costs less than the three individual volumes, while also being hardcover). It is also an excellent one-volume introduction to the post-2016 phase of my poetry."

The cover photograph is an original work by Wyatt Doyle of New Texture, whose most recent book (with acclaimed visual artist Jimmy Angelina) is Be Italian!

Shute's work is rooted in the post-Projective Verse poetics of Blackburn, Berrigan, and Eigner, but completely his own. A career-spanning Selected Poems (Junk Sculpture From the New Gilded Age) was published by Moloko Print in Germany in late 2021.

His earlier poetry books include Twelve Gates to the City, Satori in Natchez, Riverside Fugue, Point Loma Purple, and Bridge on the Bayou.

He also wrote the introductory essay to the recent collection Ed Wood, Jr.: When the Topic Is Sex (Bear Manor Media), a 540-page collection of the filmmaker/author's early 1970s non-fiction pieces for adult magazines, and has been a contributor to Ugly Things magazine for 35+ years.

Shute lives and works in San Antonio, Texas.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Final Three Days to Order the Deluxe Ltd. POLLEN IN PRINT!

click to enlarge


On the fence about buying the signed, limited edition of Pollen In Print? There are only three days left in the IndieGoGo campiagn, where you can get a deluxe bonus package that includes an exclusive, tipped-in plate signed by the editors, and a VERY limited set of five reference photo proofsheet reproductions from Samson Pollen’s archives. 

These are Pollen’s previously unseen illustration reference photos (most featuring Steve Holland) for stories by the likes of Richard Wright and Norman Mailer, they’ve never before been made available to the public, and there are no plans to make them available again. 

The graphic accompanying this post shows images from ONE proofsheet. You get FIVE. After the campaign ends, you’ll still be able to buy the book, but not the limited edition reference photoset. When they’re gone, they’re gone. Three days! Get yours while you still can at SamsonPollen.com

 

click to enlarge

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Angelina & Doyle Meet Gottfried & Santopadre!




Clockwise from top left: Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Santopadre, Jimmy Angelina, Wyatt Doyle

Sending out a BIG thank you to the wonderful loons behind the world's greatest talk show, Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast (Frank Santopadre, Dara and Gilbert Gottfried), who recently hosted Be Italian authors Jimmy Angelina and Wyatt Doyle for a typically freewheeling episode, with an even-greater-than-usual emphasis on Italians, Jews, movies, Italians portraying Jews in movies, and Jews portraying Italians in movies.

Lots of laughs, lots of Gilbert's hilarious impersonations and singing (!), and, of course, lots of Italians — authentic and otherwise.

Be Italian is available in a variety of formats tailored to the needs of Italians and their admirers, including limited edition signed and numbered deluxe hardcover (with exclusive bonus Italian!), softcover, and bundled with signed and numbered art prints of your favorite Italians! All at www.BeItalianBook.com  



Saturday, March 5, 2022

POLLEN IN PRINT 1955-1959 on IndieGoGo!

The Pollen In Print deluxe edition bundle with exclusive photoset! Available exclusively via our IndieGoGo campaign. Click here to purchase.

 

WHO? 

Samson Pollen (1931–2018) has emerged as one of the most collected pulp fiction illustration artists of the men’s adventure magazine (MAM) era, from the 1950s through the 1970s, when his work appeared regularly in MAMs like Stag, Male, and For Men Only. There he illustrated hard-hitting short fiction by the forgotten and the famous, including gritty early stories by Mario Puzo, Norman Mailer, and Richard Wright. His work has lately been featured in periodicals such as Artforum, Illustration, and Intelligent Collector, and the collections Pollen’s Action and Pollen’s Women, available from New Texture. 

 

WHAT? 

Pollen In Print 1955–1959 is a big, sexy, action-packed collection of the artist’s earliest MAM illustration art just as it appeared in print. It is the first installment of a new deluxe-format series of books from the Men’s Adventure Library chronologically cataloging Pollen’s three decades of magazine work in its entirety. 

 

WHO’S BEHIND IT? 

The series editors are collector/historian Robert Deis and writer/designer Wyatt Doyle, with the cooperation of the artist’s estate. Together Deis and Doyle have produced over a dozen installments of the popular and critically acclaimed Men’s Adventure Library series of books, including Pollen’s Women and Pollen’s Action, deluxe, large-format collections created in collaboration with the artist, reproducing original paintings selected from his personal archive. 

 

WHAT DO I GET? 

An exclusive, limited edition bundle that includes a copy of the book signed by both editors on a special custom bookplate tipped-in by hand, accompanied by a limited edition set of five 8” x 10” black-and-white artist’s reference photos featuring Pollen’s favorite man of action, iconic illustration model Steve Holland. These proofsheet reproductions are struck from Pollen’s personal masters, each associated with a memorable painting from the book. These impossibly rare, previously unpublished images (some bearing the artist’s own framing marks) served as Pollen’s visual references for characters depicted in his work, and provide a unique glimpse into Pollen’s process of creating some of his most memorable — and in at least one instance, historic — illustrations. Pollen In Print is also available without the photo set and dual-signed bookplate, with optional signature or inscription by co-editor Robert Deis available upon request. 


TELL ME MORE! 

A lifelong New Yorker born in 1931, illustration artist Samson Pollen enjoyed early success as a cover artist for paperbacks before moving into magazine illustration in the mid-1950s. Almost all of Pollen’s magazine pieces were commissions for Martin Goodman’s Magazine Management Company (publishers of some of the best and longest lasting MAMs, from the ’50s through the ’70s, and birthplace of Marvel Comics). Interior two-page spreads, created under the direction of the art department, were his specialty. 

Determining the full extent of Pollen’s magazine work has been left to collectors and illustration art scholars to sort out. From his paperback book covers to his MAM images, Samson Pollen produced a daunting number of illustrations across the decades, numbering in the hundreds. So many, over so many years, that an accurate accounting is impossible to determine. 

Our previous Men’s Adventure Library collections, Pollen’s Action and Pollen’s Women, drew from Pollen’s own archive of original artwork, presenting the cream of his personal holdings, raw and unedited, just as the images would have emerged from the artist’s studio decades ago. The aim of this new series is different. With Pollen In Print, we step out of one archive and into another — namely, the astonishing vintage magazine collection of the book’s co-editor Robert Deis — to assemble a complete chronological presentation of Pollen’s work as it was first seen by the public, in the original printed pages of the magazines the work was created for. Some pieces have remained out of view since their original publication, and see their first reprinting in several decades here. 

Designed by co-editor Wyatt Doyle, this series also opens the door to the inclusion of less seen, less celebrated, but no less masterful “spot” illustrations (smaller sketch pieces, peppered throughout stories with lengthier page counts). Spot illustration may not have come with the same demands as painting spreads, but you’d never know it from Pollen’s detailed and inventive approach to them. Some even appear to be early drafts for compositions he’d later employ for other stories, in showier spreads. We include an ample selection in Pollen In Print, reproduced at a much larger size than their original publication to better savor every detail. 

 

Pollen In Print will be a 138-page 11” x 8.5” deluxe hardcover, and will shelve perfectly with our prior Pollen collections, Pollen's Action and Pollen's Women. The insights and revelations to be gleaned from this complete, chronological approach of the Pollen In Print series are significant, both in terms of bringing to light “lost” or long-unseen works, as well as at last being able to truly and accurately chart Pollen’s progress and evolution as an artist and illustrator. 

“He tells stories on paper with a pen, and I tell them with a brush, you know? We’re both doing the same thing in a different way.” —Samson Pollen, on the artist as storyteller 

To purchase the Pollen In Print bundle, visit www.SamsonPollen.com

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Zappa Plays Los Angeles, Feb. 19


 New Texture recording artists Catherine Sikora, Nick Skrowaczewski, Andrew Wedman, and Stanley J. Zappa will appear at HelMel Studios in Los Angeles, Saturday, February 19 at 8 pm.

$10 suggested admission, cash bar. 

And, as ever, remember to keep it irie.