Friday, November 02, 2012

One day in the publisher’s office

Editor: I think it’s about time we did another big New Zealand art book. 

Publisher: Lavish. 

E: Huh? 

P: Lavish. Art books. We call them lavish. You know, not big, Lavish. Or sometimes big and lavish. But never just big. 

E: OK then, a lavish art book. Something that picks up the threads and weaves them together to create an image of our culture. 

P: A history of painting in other words. 

E: I was thinking more than that, like, you know, sculpture, photography, performance, installation, video .... 

P: No, no, let’s stick with painting. Less complicated, more popular. It's what people expect when the see the word art.

E: But we already have a book on New Zealand painting. 

P: We do? 

E: Yes. 200 years of New Zealand Painting. We published it back in 1971. 

P: Great. Then let’s update it. 

E: We already did. 

P: Damn. How long ago? 

E: 1990 

P: But that was … I don’t know … lots of years ago. 

 E: Eleven. 

P: Brilliant! We could call it the cricket update then. Maybe get Martin Crowe to do an intro. 

E: I’m sure I can find some art person to do it ... hopefully. 

P: Oh… OK. (counting on fingers) I’ve even got a title. Ready? 

E: (on the verge of tears) What? 

P: It's obvious really. 241 Years of New Zealand Painting

Which is almost what they did.