When I was browsing through Barney’s stellar home department, I had to tear myself away from Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life, By Todd Oldham.
The late artist Charley Harper called his work “minimal realism” and with a focus on wildlife, his paintings and illustrations are vibrant depictions of a world you only dreamed about as a child.
Flipping through the pages is like jumping into a magical universe like the kids in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. With the sense of playfulness and whimsy, it’s fitting one of Harper’s most famed achievements is illustrating The Golden Book of Biology.
Todd Oldham, who was a longtime admirer of Harper and released the book just after his death in 2007, captured the imaginative and magnetic appeal of Harper’s work so well when he said:
"I had the giant 'Golden Book of Biology,' which was one of my favorite things I've ever had in my life," reminisced Oldham. "I kind of remember, it was like I crawled into that book. It wasn't like a book in the room. It was this fort, this immersion for me.”