by Chuck Romano
Ah, now this is a beautiful thing. The Art of Deception is subtitled "The Affinity Between Conjuring & Art" and in it Chuck Romano pays tribute to the men and women whose artwork is such a vital and vibrant part of the world of magic.
This book began as an award winning series of articles in The Linking Ring. If you've read those articles I will tell you that they in no way prepare you for how wonderful this book is. Chuck takes us from the early images of the conjurer (featuring the work of Bosch and Bruegel) through the glory days of lithography (including marvelous full color reproductions of posters of Carter, Blackstone, Thurston, and Houdini). He pays homage to the magic illustrators of the past (Clifford Thompson, Marshall D. Smith, Chris Carven, Francis Rigney, Harlan Tarbell, Sid Lorraine, Nelson Hahne) and the present (Kaufman, Schmidt, Oakes, Onosaka, Gagnon, Jorgenson, Allen, Lyles, Kort, and Lyons). In each case he presents examples of the artist's work and analyzes their styles. There is a chapter on magic catalogue illustrators, and one on those who provide illustrations for periodicals. There is a chapter on comic book magic, and a chapter on magic and fine art.
I loved this book before I even opened it up. The cover illustration by Patrick Milbourn is hilarious. I wish I had a print to hang on my wall. As I went through the rest of the book I never stopped smiling. This book is a class act. There are over 400 photographs. It is published in a limited edition of 500 copies. It is going to fly out the door. Get yours immediately or hate yourself forever.
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