Failed Painter: Or Unchained by Material Anxiety

By Ian Lynam

A personal book about material anxiety in creative work, The Failed Painter discusses singular and multiple production processes, perfectibility and imperfectability in times of virtual surface, and hunger for authenticity. Writing in the persona of the titular "failed painter," Ian Lynam, author of The Impossibility of Silence: Writing for Designers, Artists & Photographers (2021), directly addresses design practitioners by calling them to investigate how the material components of their practice are sourced, delving into everything from the labor conditions of manufacturers to the intricate processes of production and distribution. Lynam grounds his investigation in the day-to-day with a collection of essays on design and art spanning culture, race, nation and sheer vandalism. This highly curated yet various assortment of approachable writing on aesthetics touches on space exploration, mercenaries, puberty, instant nostalgia, precarious labor and, of course, zombies.

222 pages
paperback, b/w illustrations


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