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Estella Ng (Founder/Ripple Root)
Question: What five books would you recommend to young people interested in your career path & why?
- The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
- What Me Worry by Andrew Kuo
Repurposing the sad, comical and seemingly trivial minutiae of everyday life into pie charts, flow charts and other forms of visual data sorting, New York-based artist Andrew Kuo transforms the idlest of days into a witty analysis in color and pattern. Among the many itemizations he has rendered into charts: "Some Things I am Scared of in November 2007"; "My Ideal Slacker Tuesday on March 27, 2008"; "Being Accused of Being an Asshole (Via Instant Messager) on June 21, 2009." The brilliance and charm of these works lies not only in their balance of what might be called "cool content in geek form," but also in the criteria and gradations they measure--for example, a chart analyzing "My Selected History with The Boredoms" takes the band's chronological discography along its horizontal axis, and runs from "Potheads" to "Mindblowing!" along its vertical axis. Kuo's obsessive charts, which resemble Op art, Concrete art or the abstractions of Josef Albers (sometimes in deliberate homage), have reached a wide audience through his music reviews for The New York Times, as well as through numerous solo shows over the past ten years. What Me Worry adopts Mad magazine's slogan to gently poke fun at the artist's compulsive record-keeping, and compiles a range of charts, some of which are also made into colorful sculptures, alongside figurative paintings, diary musings and a series of recipes. The New Yorker music critic Kelefa Sanneh contributes an essay.
Andrew Kuo graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design in 1999, and now lives in New York, where his first solo exhibition was held in 2001; his most recent solo exhibition, All Over Again, was held at The 33 Bond Gallery in October, 2007. Kuo's charts of bands and concerts are regularly featured in The New York Times' music section.