01/04/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Telos. 45 page illustrated small hardback. Price: £14.99 (UK), $26.95 (US), $28.95 (CAN. ISBN: 978-1-84583-053-3.
check out website: www.telos.co.uk and www.vincentchong-art.co.uk
It's rather interesting that Telos has released an artbook, especially as they are so far and few between these days, more's the pity. Vincent Chong's work has mostly been amongst the smaller publishers but seeing twenty paintings together, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the bigger publishers give him a look-see so this book could end up on their shelves. To stop them doing this, you ought to buy this book yourself first.
The amount of text is actually small but Chong does give some background behind each painting and the choices he made in their creation. I'm not entirely sure if the repros included with this review will do them justice. I've seen a couple of them on the final book covers at a larger scale and they haven't lost anything. The small size of the book focuses the eye better and none of them are spread over two pages so don't suffer from centre crease.
In many respects, Chong's style is surrealistic and relies on a limited colour range within each painting. The results are oddly spectacular and he does pay attention to the stories he's supposed to represent with his paintings. Just when you think you understand his range, Chong throws a surprise with the next painting and uses a different range of colours.
After studying these paintings, I think you will find it easy to recognise a Chong painting. He doesn't do true to life but truly paints. There is always room for such work. If you've admired any of his cover work then you will want to own this book and say you were there at the start of Vincent Chong's career.
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