4 out of 4 stars
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Bully Bully Bang Bang is an artistic compilation of illustrations and poetic rhetoric by acclaimed artist Corinne Whitaker. As an award-winning art pioneer, she has over 42 years of creative career experience in the development of digital imaging and sculpting techniques. She utilizes a blend of bold language and eclectic interpretations to address many complex moral, sociopolitical issues.
By combining poetic passages of prose with digitally abstract art renderings, the author creates quite a memorable pairing pattern. Her unapologetic sense of self-expression brazenly paves a path of rule-breaking rebelliousness, and I find her unique approach refreshing. A great variety of themes are explored in this book, but all of them leave an indelible imprint on the psyche. Whitaker tackles bullying, barriers, boycotts, and bigotry—a wide range of issues not remotely blasé. Truth, power, and the wealthy elite lobotomize, ostracize, and mock the impoverished. Hypocrisy tries to silence the fighters, but truly audible voices cannot be ignored.
This book does seem to support a generalized theme of thrusting out injustice. It encourages readers to positively embrace all the misfits, southpaws, redheads, and outcasts—the discarded among us who feel woefully unclaimed. Through civic-minded collaboration and inequality education, humanity could empower a kindness that should spread en masse. I would readily describe this artistic compilation as an avant-garde exposé. It features many stimulating passages of interpretative prose: “ART COMPELS YOU TO TWITCH, TO ITCH… IN IMPOLITE PLACES.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the mixed myriad of featured art styles. Some digital illustrations feature neon hues, floral designs, and pixilated grids, while others include mirror images, abstract graffiti, and chaotically hypnotic psychedelic displays. Many of the multicolored collages feel reminiscent of the fictional supervillain Harley Quinn. There are mentions of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Matisse, Hitler, and Nietzsche, and a mixed-DNA prejudice is readily explored. Readers will also come across some hip, modern-day slang terms like “dough” and “lettuce.”
I reviewed this publication in its printed, paperback version. All 89 pages of content feature an attractive, glossy black sheen. I appreciate the inclusion of such a visually tactile aspect; it gives the material an undeniably chic backdrop. Each succinctly poetic passage of white text is then immediately followed by an accompanying digital illustration. I did encounter a few small errors, but this book appears to have been professionally edited. There was nothing I disliked. There is no presence of profanity or sexual content, and none of the illustrations depict mature themes that would be inappropriate for younger audiences.
I feel this book would be appropriate for any reader who appreciates radical forms of artistic innovation. I would recommend it to pop culture art aficionados, fans of spoken poetry, and all appreciators of cultural iconography. The meaningful imagery within these pages evokes a vivacious sense of self-actualization. Many of the messages will resonate strongly with anyone who has ever felt unfairly categorized or dismissed because of their skin color.
I award this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. It is visually and conceptually mesmerizing; it triggers numerous, thought-provoking moments of reflection. Whitaker is also known as “the Digital Giraffe,” and her artwork has appeared in 80 solo shows and 260 group exhibitions worldwide. This is her 31st book of digital paintings and poetry.
Bully Bully Bang Bang
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