Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: Let Them Eat Cheesecake

De Berardinis, Olivia.  Let Them Eat Cheesecake: The Art of Oliva.  Malibu: Ozone Productions, Ltd., 1993.  Print.

Yes, I know it's the latest, greatest MLA style up there, and yes, I agree that having to actually write the word "print" for something that should obviously show itself as a bound and printer piece of work is ridiculous, but the MLA changed it, not me.

And now, to the meat of this review!  And oh, what a delightfully well-trimmed chunk it is!

I first discovered the beautiful and breath-taking artwork of Oliva De Berardinis and her husband, Joel Beren, back in the early 1990s, as a sophomore at Fairmont State, through my new friends Jennifer and Paxton.  Arty and Beat to the core, we drank red wine, imported beer, and wrote poetry and admired artwork in their tiny house tucked behind a bridge, and held many a delightful rent party at the end of each month.

Jennifer was the one who introduced me to Olivia, Bettie Page reprints, and modern-day burlesque.

With delightful drawings of well-muscled, strong women, some wielding whips and some in demure lace sipping from demitasse cups, perhaps my favorite Olivia can be found in the center of the top of page 56, and it is an untitled work, depicting her cat, Buffalo, a Siamese, wrapped around the ankle boot of Olivia's friend, Jennifer (taken from the description notes, page 103).

I first began collecting some of the artwork in this book as trading cards from a comic shop just down the street from Jen and Paxton's house, and for years I have longed to find a copy of this book.  The artwork is, of course, impeccable.  Beautiful oil and gauche and richly colored, this is everything a modern-day art lover and appreciation of the female form deserves.  I'd suggest hitting Amazon for a copy of the book, but if you are interested in following the Divine Ms. O and her artistic musings, I'd suggest checking out her web site,

Interested in some of the artwork featured in the book, plus the ever-popular much much more?  I'd suggest you check out the following YouTube video from pfMaya.

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