A lot of art books we see look nice, sure, but are generally so precious that we tend to thumb through them once before shelving them quasi-permanently. Blackstock’s Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant (a paperback original available now) is our favorite, most recent exception to that rule.
The work of Gregory L. Blackstock, a retired Seattle pot washer, the book collects his obsessive pictorial lists of, well, pretty much everything. (See samples via the link below.)
Blackstock’s taxonomy — The Early Boeing Jet Planes, Monsters of the Past, The Stringed Musical Instruments, and so on — offers the sort of quietly absorbing thrill imparted by, say, those cult-favorite Schott’s Miscellany trivia books.
As savant-syndrome expert Dr. Darold A. Treffert writes in the introduction, “his drawings show the precision of a Swiss watchmaker coupled with the wide-range musings of a philosopher.”
Along with the chipper retro innocence of a mid-century American boy grown old but not quite up.
Blackstock and his singular work are poignant as well as deeply charming — but more the latter, we’re happy to report, than the former.
“>VIEW sample drawings
“>BUY Blackstock’s Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant; 2006, 144 pages.
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