Monday, October 21, 2013

The Green Book Of Oz (A Project We Want To See Completed!)

The Green Book of Oz by Alessandro Previti (An indiegogo Project)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends of Fairy Tales, I'd like you to meet the very talented Alessandro Previti!

Although you may feel as if there are Oz projects everywhere you look with the 75th celebrations looming (and there are), I promise you this one is worth your time and, hopefully, your support. It's also a very nice and different way to celebrate a milestone anniversary of America's most famous fairy tale.
From Previti Art Studio's Facebook page with many updates on the project

While many current projects seek to update The Wizard of Oz by "cutesifying" characters (eg for toys) or aiming for the dark side (like the video America McGee has been developing) - and while many of these are beautiful - Previti's approach is gallery-worthy fine art with a refreshingly different take.

Take a look at the video explaining the project:
Although we all think "Emerald City" when looking at green + Oz, Previti has taken an eco-friendly view to the idea and will be printing it on specially recycled paper in an eco-friendly manner, complete with the following certificates:

The art is also unique, taking the styles of Marc Chagall, Giacomo Balla* and a sort of modern-meets-impressionist-meets-stained-glass approach (among others), making the art (and different aspects of the story) accessible to children without "dumbing it down". The resulting pieces are gentle, pleasing to look at, layered in meaning and encourage further adventures in art and imagination. I'm so impressed by the effect that I'll be sharing some of these images with my son's first grade class in our future art lessons together**. As a bonus I get to share a fairy tale the school system won't have a problem with me referencing! :)

Previti is no stranger to fairy tales either. One look at the Previti Art Studio Facebook page will tell you he has a long time fascination with them and you'll see peeks of his Le Petit Chaperon Rouge project as well (HERE). There's a lovely video for that HERE too.
Pages from Previti's Green Book of Oz

Although I'm late to finding out about the Green Book of Oz indiegogo project (a crowd funded site very similar to Kickstarter) and the clock is a-ticking down to the final days of the deadline (8 DAYS TO GO!), if all the readers here just put in one dollar we could easily see this beautiful book become a reality. Note: Though the indiegogo page appears in Euros, if you click on contribute, after you enter the "Euro amount", you'll be taken to a PayPal button, which will convert and process any currency automatically for you (as a guide, currently, $10USD= ~ 14).

Here is an excerpt from Alessandro Previti's statement on the Indiegogo site. You can see how his personal sentiments are clearly reflected in his art:
My name is Alessandro Previti, I'm an illustrator and a dreamer. 
While illustrating the story of Oz I had in mind parents and children reading the book together, enjoying the vibrant, expressive pictures.  
The main inspiration to draw these illustrations were children and their artistic expression. I studied hundreds of children’s drawings and combined them with the style of italian futurism. 
The resulting pictures offer the joy of vivid colours and leave a wide space for deeper contemplation.  “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, one of the most charming and enchanting stories ever written is in the public domain. It is a great privilege for independent artists to self publish this masterpiece of fairy tales gifting it a personal touch.

Personally, I'd love to see this book on my own library shelf and share it with my son. The art style is so different to many children's illustrated books today and I love the idea of exposing him to children-friendly creativity and imagination outside the typical.

Thank you Mr. Previti! We wish you every success with your beautiful project and hope to see your book soon.

* The links take you to Pinterest pages full of examples of each artist's work so you can see some of Previti's style inspirations.
** Note: I'm not a regular school teacher. I volunteer and also teach art lessons through the school's Art Appreciation program. My aim is to help make sure the students (including my son) have exposure to - and opportunity to create - Art. :)

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