Review: Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes by Michael Cho
Title: Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes
Artist: Michael Cho
Length: 80 pages
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher / Year: Drawn & Quarterly / 2012
Why I Read It: It sounded really interesting, and beautiful.
Date Read: 25/05/12
Cho is a Toronto based graphic artist and in this book he has compiled a collection of his art featuring the city of Toronto. We have lots of back alleys and city views, complete with the graffiti that often dots the fences and buildings. The works include, as Cho says, ‘watercolour, gouache, ink, markers, and coloured dyes’, and more.
The book begins with a short introduction by Cho about his work and how he got in to painting / drawing / working with alleys, but after that it is mostly just the images. I do wish he had included the intersection or address for the works, as I’d love to check out some of the places in person – but he may have wished to keep them quiet and hidden for only those few that already know about them, and to protect people’s privacy as the images are of their alleys and backyards.
The art is gorgeous and I know I’ll be going over the images again and again. Toronto truly has some beautiful views in it, but here Cho instead has made the everyday and ordinary beautiful. If you love the city, or really if you love any city, or great art, do check out this book.