Sunday, February 18, 2024

Backseat Driver

Backseat Driver is an erudite and well curated collection of commentary and observation on art, writing, and more generally on the art world written over a long period of time by James Croak. Released 3rd Dec 2023, it's 158 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. 

There is such an excess of gatekeeping in higher art. The vast majority of people (sadly) see art as unnecessary or somehow out of reach of their daily existences. Nothing could be further from the truth and Mr. Croak gets it. This is an eminently layman accessible, solid book full of real commentary and analysis from an artist. The subjects are wide ranging, and clearly written and collected over a longer period of time.

He's insightful, explaining things without sneering or lecturing. There are moments of lighter humor, without "aw shucks" deprecation. He is just a really insightful commentator, surprisingly sharply relevant.

Five stars. This is a definite must-read for art fans, but also quite apropos to readers of culture, sociology, and general nonfiction. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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