Three Great Art Books By People Not Known For Their Art

I am a fan of the other. Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, and Henri Michaux’s visual works of art have long fascinated me to no end.

Here are three art books by two authors and a Director that showcase their lessor known visual art. Enjoy!

Victor Hugo
Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) is perhaps best known here in the US for his novels Les Misérables (1862) and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831) but he was a very prolific writer, producing works of fiction, poetry, drama, as well as non-fiction works covering a broad range of topics.

Hugo is less well known for the more than 4,000 drawings he produced during his lifetime but back in the day, Charles Baudelaire was among his fans, the magnificent imagination that flows through Victor Hugo’s drawings like mysteries in the sky.

Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo collects some 120 color illustrations of these works and their striking use of materials including soot, coffee, and dust to create age-defying abstracted atmosphere, hello Anselm Keifer, make these works a quiet revelation to behold.


Hardcover : 208 pages
Publisher : Prestel (September 14, 2018)
Dimensions : 10 x 1.07 x 10.81 inches

Andrei Tarkovsky
Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids

Film Director extraordinaire Andrei Tarkovsky (4th April 1932 – 29th December 1986) created some of cinema’s great masterpieces including Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), and Mirror (1975). In every Tarkovsky film, each frame can be removed and framed as art.

A poet is someone who can use a single image to send a universal message. — Tarkovsky

Instant Light collects 60 of Tarkovsky’s Polaroids which are filled with mystery and magic.


Paperback : 135 pages
Dimensions : 6.3 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
Publisher : Thames & Hudson (June 17, 2006 out of print)

Lewis Carrol
The Photographs of Lewis Carroll: A Catalogue Raisonné

Alice In Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), was also a mathematician and avid photographer. The Photographs of Lewis Carroll: A Catalogue Raisonné collects every surviving photograph taken by Lewis Carroll, numbering nearly 1,000. Many of Carroll’s photographs depict children, some in the nude which was not uncommon in the Victorian era, which has caused much speculation and controversy over the years, with no evidential basis, leading some to shy away from these works.

one of Carroll’s portraits of Alice Liddell

Carroll’s favorite subject and muse was Alice Lidell. A 10-year-old Alice asked Carroll to entertain her and her sisters with a story while row boating to a picnic. That story became Alice In Wonderland.

From his shoulder Hiawatha
Took the camera of rosewood,
Made of sliding, folding rosewood;
Neatly put it all together.
In its case it lay compactly,
Folded into nearly nothing;
But he opened out the hinges,
Pushed and pulled the joints and hinges,
Till it looked all squares and oblongs,
Like a complicated figure
In the Second Book of Euclid.

This he perched upon a tripod—
Crouched beneath its dusky cover—
Stretched his hand, enforcing silence—
Said, “Be motionless, I beg you!”
Mystic, awful was the process.


Hardcover : 334 pages
Dimensions : 9.5 x 1.5 x 12 inches
Publisher : University of Texas Press; Illustrated Edition (August 1, 2015)