Everbooks Books Artists Love: Alex Israel ( May 17, 2018 )

ForYourArt asks artists and writers to create lists of timeless, influential books as part of our ongoing project Everbooks.

Everbooks by Alex Israel

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis
City of Quartz, Mike Davis
Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger
The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West
The Andy Warhol Diaries, Andy Warhol
The Malady of the Century, Max Nordau
The White Album, Joan Didion
The Informers, Bret Easton Ellis

Based in Los Angeles, Israel engages with the particular culture of the local film and media industries. Mining the “food chain” of show business, he interrogates and confounds the fine line between “talent” and “raw material” while re–framing and re–presenting manufactured items whose formal and auratic properties are often overlooked. For Israel, the American dream, as embodied by the Los Angeles mythos, remains affecting and potent. Channeling celebrity culture as well as the slick appearance and aspirations of the entertainment capital, Israel approaches his hometown with an uncanny coupling of local familiarity and anthropological curiosity. His work alludes to both California cool and calculated brand creation, embracing clichés and styles that exude the hygienic optimism endemic to the local scene.

ForYourArt and Goodreads introduced Everbooks at Printed Matter’s 2016 LA Art Book Fair.

45 min
Estimated Viewing Time