Thursday, March 28, 2019

Books: Heroes: A Tribute

Tra Publishing announces the June 2019 release of a new hardcover trade edition of HEROES: A Tribute by Doug Meyer. In 1981, conceptual artist and designer Doug Meyer lost a dear friend to a mysterious new disease we now know was AIDS. Over the next few years, Meyer went to 79 funerals. In HEROES: A Tribute (Tra Publishing, June 4, 2019) he pays homage by way of portraiture to some of the first victims of AIDS and AIDS-related diseases — brilliant creative figures such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, Rudolph Nureyev, Freddie Mercury, Rock Hudson, John Duka, Tina Chow, Klaus Nomi, Halston, and Angelo Donghia, whose contributions may be unknown to a younger generation. Printed in multiple papers with pops of neon color and painted edges echoing the artist’s work, Doug Meyer’s HEROES is a gorgeous feast for the eyes and soul that not only honors the creative geniuses who died too soon, but immortalizes their work for generations to come.
“I find it so sad and horrifying that these 50 Heroes seem to have fallen out of contemporary cultural memory,” says Meyer. “My intent for both the Heroes Project and this book is to expose a younger generation to these Heroes whose contributions, talent and even existence have been forgotten or perhaps nearly lost in today’s digital world.”
Originally conceived as an installation for the annual DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation to Fight AIDS) dinner, Meyer’s Heroes Project went on to show in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. In creating each portrait, Meyer conducted extensive research, ploughing through books and newspaper archives to gain intimate knowledge of the men and women he was depicting. “I immersed myself in their lives,” he says. HEROES includes biographies of each figure based upon his research.
To create his 3D portraits, Meyer blended new and old techniques ranging from terracotta to eglomise to papier-mâché to computer-generated collage, to name only a few. He felt it important that the technique, materials and style of each work be as diverse as possible. He says, “I employed everything I could muster up, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography — all combined in various forms to create works that were uniquely different —to give the appearance that each object was made by different hands.”
The book is distributed worldwide by Simon & Schuster and is also available on amazon and through Tra Publishing’s website at  Collector’s and Art editions of the book are also available from the publisher.

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