(Gift Recommendation) O! Tricky Cad & Other Jessoterica
The New York Times
Between Two Covers, Wide Worlds of Art
And for a gift in which reading and looking are in perfect sync? Head straight for JESS: O! TRICKY CAD & OTHER JESSOTERICA, a book of art jampacked with words and images by another American master collagist, Jess Collins (1923-2004), or, as he preferred to be called, just Jess. He started his long and productive life as chemist, working during World War II on the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project. But soon, aghast at the growth of the postwar military-industrial complex, he dropped out, went to art school, met a kindred-soul partner (the poet Robert Duncan) and never looked back.
Luckily, he left a lot to look at, and Siglio Press in Los Angeles has selected choice material to reproduce, its mix of verbal illogic, Victoriana, vintage sci-fi and homoerotic high jinks a page-turning and lingering joy.