Thursday, 21 July 2016
ARTBOOK REVIEW: EXPOSE 11 BY BALLISTIC PUBLISHING
Publisher: Ballistic Publishing
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
You won't believe a book can be this good until you hold it. Expose 11 showcases the world's best digital art in 23 categories, including: Comic/Manga; Portrait (Painted and Rendered); Fantasy; Fantasy Femmes; Architecture (Exterior and Interior); Concept Art; Environment; Matte Painting; Science Fiction; Robotic/Cyborg; Warriors and Conflict; Whimsical; Surreal; and Transport.
The reason I review these kind of books is that they have a nice few pieces of Japanese manga in them that interested me in taking a look at these in the first place. Expose 11 is set out in the usual way with a visually pleasing front cover that is almost manga in style. Inside we get to see the book details and credits for front and back cover artists, then it's off into a world map of the talent hailing from around the globe.
Artwork is separated into various categories: Portrait (Painted), Portrait (Rendered), Portrait (Illustrated), Warriors & Conflict, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Character and Fantasy Females. The list goes on, which goes to prove the level of detail that has gone into the arrangement of the art in these pages. We also get to meet all thirteen of the judges who decide what goes into the book, and after that, there is a several page expose on Expose 11 Grand Master Roger Dean who many will have no doubt heard of. A fantasy artist and designer, Roger's unique fantasy art style has won him many fans and awards, so it is great to see him in this issue with his speciality for rendering strange and interesting landscapes too alien to describe.
From the first few pages of artwork, readers can get to see which artists have been picked to profile and showcase their work in each category, and then it's on with the art itself with full page and half page spreads of some of the most eye catching art I have ever seen. Mohamed Taabes My Uncle is a full portrait done in a painterly style with colourful skin tones that reminded me of some Aboriginal art I had seen before. Claudius Dreyer of Germany has created Maiko, which is a lovely Japanese portrait of a woman in a striking scarlet kimono with parasol which looks very lifelike. Gilgamesh Jun Mao's portrait art is also stunning in pastel colours that show the honesty of the person. Soul Spark by Sam Hogg shows a woman with a dragon around her as she dances. The striking colours and speed painted way it has been drawn make it one to enjoy.
Summary: There is plenty to intrerest the artist in everyone as well as the otaku who likes the detailled manga art available here.