I recently discovered Daria Hlazatova‘s work when Billy Corgan tweeted this glorious image of her’s entitled Daphne Descends inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins song. It’s no secret that I’m a Pumpkins fan, so I had to find out more about this artist whose style sums up Adore era SP, evoking Aubrey Beardsley, gothic Surrealism and the art-deco stylings of Erté. It transpires that Hlazatova is a renown Ukrainian illustrator, who exhibits exclusively in galleries and only very occasionally sells limited edition art prints. So I could hardly believe my luck when I discovered Avery Hill Publishing, a small independent UK publisher, have produced this wonderful book!
This little jewel of an art book ‘A is for Amos’ is an illustrated A-Z of musicians, in a 7 x 7 inch soft bound cover. Featuring 26 illustrations by artist Daria Hlazatova’s of her own eclectic selection of influential musicians. The fact that our music tastes crossover considerably makes this book even more appealing! So for the purpose of this review I’ve decided to share my own top 5 favourite artists from her illustrated alphabet. (And Yes, Bowie is in there but you can see him here.)
An illustrated A-Z of musicians is a wonderful project, and part of its charm is that you’ll find your self creating your own A-Z of who You would have included. (I find this especially compelling having created musician portrait series myself.) The pedantic may notice that the alphabet connections are a little loose, X is for T-Rex for example, and the significant letters alternate between first and surname, but as this is clearly a personal labour of love so I wont be a stickler for rules! Although it does irk me a tad that there are two classical composers amid a sea of alternative rock stars here, that stick out like the proverbial sore thumbs. They needn’t dampen YOUR enjoyment however because the art work for every artist is beautiful, whether you are a fan of their music or not, and the portraits’ style ranges from detailed and design-centric (Florence, Genesis), to abstract (Underworld, Radiohead) to the slightly more conventional sketch style (Patton, QOTSA).
This book is a fantastically inexpensive way to sample this stunning artist’s work, and I quite honestly can’t recommend it enough. It’s so pretty I want to frame every other page. You can purchase A is for Amos, A musical A to Z by Daria Hlazatova for £8 here directly from Avery Hill Publishing. And don’t forget to check out more of Daria’s work on her website here.