In 1985 Ron Warren began collecting sock monkeysthose icons of American thrift and inventiveness that for generations have been hand-stitched from a pair of red-heel work socks. Years later he met photographer Arne Svenson (author of the recent popular volume Chewed) who, intrigued by the obsessive nature and growing size of the collection, began with equal obsession to document individually its more than 1,800 examples. To convey the distinct personality imbued in each monkey by its maker, Svenson photographs them in the manner of classical black-and-white portraiture: flatteringly lit, cropped at the shoulders, eyes to the camera. The first 200 of these sock monkey portraits, reproduced larger than life as full-page duotones, are assembled in this book. Invited contributors, including novelists Jonathan Safran Foer, Neil Gaiman and Dale Peck; entertainers Penn & Teller; and fashion commentators Simon Doonan and Isaac Mizrahi, have interjected short stories inspired by the subject of their favorite sock monkey photograph. The result is an engaging, humorous and at times disturbing reanimation of creatures long relegated to the attic or the back of the closet.
|Publisher:||Ideal World Books|
|Product dimensions:||8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Ron Warren received his first vintage sock monkey as a gift in 1985. Fascinated by what it revealed about its unknown maker, he began to collect and catalog the many mutations of this cherished childhood plaything.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
'Sock Monkeys (200 out of 1,862)' is a tribute to the passion and devotion of collectors--a glance at the photo of Ron Warren's entire collection on the inside cover says it all--and to Arne Svenson's talent as a photographer. Until I read this book I would have said that all sock monkeys look essentially alike. Now I realize how wrong I was. Each monkey is unique by virtue of the arrangement of his stuffing, the placement of his bead, button or embroidered eyes, and the array of other adornments his maker has chosen for him. Some are sweet, some are thuglike, some are wacky, but each is one of a kind. Once you start comparing them it's hard to put the book down. A few of the sock monkeys in this book are lucky enough to have a part of their life story provided with their portrait. Not their real story--who made them; who owned them--but funny, fictional accounts by some well known artists and writers, including fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, Penn and Teller, and Simon Doonan. They add to the enjoyment of the book, but the real stars are the portraits themselves.
If you are looking to put a smile on your face - you can't pass this up. Talk about going to the zoo to see something cute this is much better! great for a present too!!! Must read - will love!!!