Saturday, October 26, 2013

The art of clean up by Ursus Wehrli

The full title of this book is The art of clean up: Life made neat and tidy and I first became aware of the "artist" and his work through Sideswipe - a daily humour column in the New Zealand Herald which pulls together videos, images, and pithy sayings from people.  The link on Sideswipe only had a few of the images so when I found out there was a book I had to order it to see what it was like and I was not disappointed.

There is a running joke with certain friends that I am a "little bit pedantic" and I can now say at least I am not as pedantic as Ursus Wehrli!  The basic idea is that he has taken everyday objects and situations and put them into order - so what you might say, but he does it with somewhat surprising and very amusing results.  Without wanting to ruin the visual surprises I can say picture a normal parking lot with cars of all sizes, shapes, and colours - and then imagine them tidied up into some semblance of order.  Or maybe imagine a bowl of fruit salad and the contents neatly arranged.

This book appeals on so many levels, there is the artistic level with its strong use of lines and colours - there is also the humorous side which leaves you at least giggling over the absurdity of the idea of making everything so orderly - and then there is also the plain sense of fun, that someone had the idea of making the everyday so orderly.  If you know someone who might like an interesting coffee table book then this may just be the one for them, and as it is relatively light it is easy to pick up and enjoy without having to lug its weight around when you want to show it off.

This book is so quirky that I have trouble suggesting anything else other than another book from the same author called Tidying up art.  Loads of fun to look at it, and it was even better when I shared it with the people around me at home and at work.  The perfect gift for that friend who likes to have everything just "so" - though maybe not the best book for anyone you know who genuinely has OCD.

Reviewed by Brilla

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