Bottle tops : the art of El Anatsui

by Goldberg, Alison,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
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Location Collection Call #
Carnegie Library of Homestead Children Non Fiction J 92 Anat
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
Collection  Children Non Fiction
Call Number  J 92 Anat
Northland Public Library Children's Biography J B ANATSUI
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Children's Biography
Call Number  J B ANATSUI
Oakmont Carnegie Library Juvenile Biography JB ANA
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
Collection  Juvenile Biography
Call Number  JB ANA
Penn Hills Library Picture Books PICTURE BIO ANA
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Picture Books
Robinson Library Juvenile Biography J BIOGRAPH ANATSUI
Location  Robinson Library
Collection  Juvenile Biography
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The inspiring biography of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui whose handmade sculptures, created from discarded bottle tops, have received international acclaim and been showcased around the world.

"If you touch something, you leave a charge on it and anybody else touching it connects with you, in a way." -- El Anatsui

El Anatsui has always written his own story. As an art student at the University of Ghana, El noticed that the artists and styles he was studying were grounded in European traditions. Curious about his own culture's art history, El observed his people and found stories in the fabrics they wore and the way they used recycled goods. He decided to tell these stories through his artwork.

El experimented with different mediums--firing broken clay into new pots and cutting wood intosculptures using a chainsaw. Each time El tried something new, he brought with him the experience of all the experiments he did before. After coming across a discarded bag of shimmering bottle tops, El wondered What was their story? He experimented with the new material--disassembling, flattening, and reshaping--then stitched the tops together with wire. The result were large, flowing tapestries that tell stories about history, culture, and link people together. Today, El's bottle top sculptures are showcased all over the world inspiring audiences everywhere.

Here is the captivating story of a Ghanaian sculptor whose passion, creativity, and awe-inspiring artwork reminds us that creating powerful art is about being true to yourself.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When El Anatsui was a teenager, his home, a British colony, became the independent country of Ghana. "We could decide to do things on our own terms," comments the artist, with the shift reflected in his outside-the-box creativity and changing old materials into something new. This striking book, vividly illustrated in paint and cut-paper collage, showcases Anatsui's signature works: flowing tapestries made from deconstructed bottle tops. Goldberg describes the artist's early life and artistry and then focuses on how he executes his famous fabrics, which have been exhibited in museums worldwide. As well as learning about Anatsui's art, readers can gain here some important insights into the creative life--Goldberg emphasizes that Anatsui doesn't work alone; a team gets the bottle tops into their new forms. It is also instructive to learn that the artist (who reviewed Goldberg's text) isn't always sure how to proceed artistically or that the results will be popular. Best of all, readers will find out that nobody in this man's town was an artist, but he still found his way to success. Robust back matter includes source notes, citations for quotes, and an art activity. Use this excellent biography alongside Shelley Pearsall's The Seventh Most Important Thing (2016) in units on found-object art; it also deserves a place on public library shelves."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Fascinated with the artistic and political potential of turning discarded objects and scrap into art, Ghanaian artist El Anatsui (b. 1944) incorporates "materials with a history" into his work, as detailed in this process-oriented picture book. Following his country's independence from Britain, Anatsui finds a torn garbage bag filled with bottle caps, "shining silver, red, yellow, and blue," and discovers that by disassembling them, flattening the bands into strips, and then connecting the strips and the circular tops, he can create huge swathes of material that visually favor traditional kente cloths. Resembling "an enormous, shimmering cloth" (one piece is 30 feet tall), El's work tells stories of colonialism, interpersonal contact, and resilience--and takes the art world by storm. In straightforward prose, Goldberg weaves a story of art and ingenuity about an artist who "has always written his own story." Zunon's richly hued paint and collage art, meanwhile, chronicles both the excitement and slow work of creating a wholly new artistic medium. Back matter includes an author's note and an art activity. Ages 7--11. (June)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Anatsui, El, -- 1944- -- Juvenile literature.
Anatsui, El, -- 1944-
Sculptors -- Ghana -- Biography -- Juvenile literature.
Bottle caps as art material -- Juvenile literature.
Illustrated works.
Publisher New York :Lee & Low Books Inc.,2022
Edition First edition.
Contributors Zunon, Elizabeth, illustrator.
Audience Ages 7-11, Grades 4-6.
Language English
Description 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 9781620149669
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