Artist Descending a Typewriter: Nine Essays on Contemporary Art
by Michael Paul Hogan
Michael Paul Hogan’s writing career began in journalism. After only a year and a half on the job, Hogan realized that the best thing about journalism was the opportunity to meet famous people whose work he admired; in other words, doors opened to him that might not have otherwise. The people he met gave him material to write about, but they also gave him social and artistic connections that led him to worlds unknown. Since then, Hogan’s career and life have flourished because of the many artists hs has come to know very well, as friends and colleagues. Artist Descending a Typewriter would not have been written had Hogan not connected in meaningful ways with these thirteen artists—Li Bin, Helen Ivory, Jean Dolande, Victoria Merki, Michael Woods, Kong Ning, Paul Polydorou, Claudia Masciave, Toti O’Brien, Volker Klein, Alexander Christoph Sterzel, Ruben Dominguez Leon, and Erica Capobianco. In this book, Hogan shares conversations, memories, photographs, paintings, and assorted literary and artistic ephemera from his years of both professionally and personally knowing these artists. For the reader, the result is a door that opens onto a uniquely personal view of contemporary art.
“Michael Paul Hogan is a fascinating polymath and the thirteen artists he has chosen to profile are true originals, each an exceptional contributor in their own right. Take, for example, the multi-talented Michael Woods, described by George Melly as ‘the last of the Surrealists’ and equally aptly by the legendary film director Nicolas Roeg as ‘an artist chasing his scientist’s tail.’ Li Bin, through his conversations with the author, brings us an extraordinary insight into the Cultural Revolution in China, his artistic response being, as Hogan says, probably the most significant we will ever see from the darkest period of post-revolutionary China. This is not however the place to detail all the exceptionally talented and diverse artists whom the author has chosen to include, each one personally known to him. It is enough to say that the reader will be introduced to thirteen exceptional and mainly under-publicized artists whose interesting life stories are sympathetically recorded by Michael Paul Hogan. Each essay is accompanied by the artist’s seminal works, and the result provides an original and exceptional contribution to contemporary art history.”
ART / Individual Artists / Essays
ISBN: 978-1-956056-87-7 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released November 7, 2023 | Copyright 2023
190 pages; over 100 full-color images
Born in London, Michael Paul Hogan is a poet, journalist, literary essayist, and fiction writer whose work has appeared extensively in the USA, UK, India, and China. His collected poems, American Voodoo, was published by Bluechrome in the UK in 2008, and again, with Chinese translations, by Foreign Languages Press in Beijing in 2001. Venues at which he has read his poetry include The Poetry Café and The Keats House in London, and The Rondo Theatre in Bath. He was also a guest speaker at the Ahmedabad International Literature Festival in 2021. As a journalist he has been Features Writer and Columnist for Island Life in Key West, Florida, Theatre Critic for The Bristol Evening Post in the UK, and Features Writer & Features Editor for Dalian Today in northeast China, while his short stories have appeared in a number of well-respected literary journals, including Big Bridge (California), Adelaide Literary Magazine (New York), The Oddville Press (London), and The Blue Nib (Ireland). Brought up in England and Wales, he has lived in Key West, India, Sumatra, Java, Thailand, and China, and to support himself during periods of working on experimental poetry and prose has variously sought employment as a commercial fisherman, house painter, bartender, day laborer, radio announcer, and market stall trader. He is married to Yan Xiang Shu, the former ballet dancer and translator of his poetry into Chinese.
“An original and exceptional contribution to contemporary art history.”
“In Artist Descending a Typewriter, Hogan provides a fascinating insight into how art is both thought and made, curating perceptive criticism which—coupled with artist interviews, back stories and inspirations—brings a fresh, all-encompassing approach to how integral art is to those who use it and view it. This book makes me want to seek new work and share the experience. Highly recommended.”
“Artist Descending a Typewriter is neither textbook nor treatise; it moves far beyond both. It effortlessly strolls with us along the avenues, boulevards, and alleyways of creativity in a way that is ultimately liberating so that by the end of our journey we marvel, not only at what we have seen, but also the fresh understanding we now possess. If the road to an appreciation of contemporary art is littered with contradictions, Michael Paul Hogan gathers up each one and shows us how they shine.”
“Mike’s beautiful book is a literary cornucopia. A tribute to art and to artists. When you read this book, you will feel affinity and proximity to the artists themselves. That is the measure of the man who scribed it.”
“Michael Paul Hogan presents a dynamic global voyage into the world of art. ‘My knowledge of painting has gained far more in painters’ studios than in the galleries that exhibit them.’ No art-speak here, just honest and insightful observations clearly written with many images and much information about the processes and materials used. Perceptive. Succinct. Approachable.”
“Mike is as interested in the artist as he is in the art. These portraits are wonderfully intimate and insightful, as well as written in a refreshingly clear style.”
“If you are looking for a narration made out of narrations, this is your book. Memories and interviews are the daily bread of contemporary artworks; artists are but witnesses. And poet Michael Paul Hogan is the witness of such witnesses. Utterly contemporary . . . Wonderful and inspiring.”
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