August 25, 2011

Steve Martin the Author, and Objects of Beauty around High Park

Eric Fischl - "Steve Martin"

I’ve been meaning to get to Steve Martin's novel An Object of Beauty  for a long time. Now that I have finally read it, I don’t regret a single moment that I spent on it.
I say this for several reasons. The first – this is the story of an ambitious young woman without a privileged background or connections, but it bears no resemblance to the typical Cinderella story. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you just want to read about the triumph of ambitious young women. There is certainly an element of hope in the story; it just isn’t as straight-forward.

The second reason why I would recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in art is that it describes quite an extensive period of time, which includes the dramatic moment in 2008 when the bubble burst.

And the third reason consists in those moments which I feel contain Steve’s personal reflections on the subject of art.

 "How," said Lacey, "can artist have no effect on you for years and then one day it has an effect on you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Warhol. I'm a proud owner, you know. A small flower picture, but still..."

"Darling, I call that the perverse effect. Those things that you hate for so long are insidiously working on you, until one day you can't resist them anymore. They turn into favorites. It just takes a while to sort out the complications in them. Those artworks that come all ready to love empty out pretty quickly. It's why outsiders hate art we love ; they haven't spent time with it. You and I see things again and again ahether we want to or not. we see them in galleries, we see them in homes, we see them in the art magazines, they come up at auction. Outsiders see it once, or hear about it after it's been reduced to an insult: 'It's a bunch of squiggles that my kid could do.' I would like to see a kid who could paint a Jackson Pollock. In a half second, any pro could tell the difference. People want to think Pollock's not struggling, that he's kidding. He's not kidding/ You want to know how I think art should be taught to children? Take them to a museum and say, " this is art, you can't do it."

I only found one scene kind of funny, which could lead you the believe that, the moment that the gallery owner closes the door behind his back, the attractive gallery manager's boyfriend shows up, and they set off to make love on the table in the boss's office, while gazing at a masterpiece by a famous painter. Tee-hee.

The one thing that sort of stood in the way of my enjoying this book in a carefree way is the presence of the author. Since the narrative flows from the first person perspective, I couldn’t help hearing the voice and intonations of Steve Martin, which I know so well from various films.

And now, a few flowers from High Park to brighten your day:


  1. Wonderful!!! I love flowers! perfect photos! bravo! Kisses from Greece.

  2. Dear Olga,
    I have not read that book. Thank you for the review! I admire Steve Martin. He is a very versatile artist. Friends of mine saw him in concert at the local winery last summer and apparently, he is a gifted musician as well. Lovely pics of the pretty flowers. A bientot. Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

  3. I'm actually heading up to the library today, I'll look for your recommendation.

    These shots are so beautiful. I just love the golden light in your fourth shot!

    Also, thank you very much for your last comment. It made my day ^.^

  4. Hello Olga:
    A book which you recommend we take very seriously indeed for we value your opinion. And this sounds, for the reasons which you briefly outline, something which we should find entertaining, enjoyable and, most likely, thought provoking. A good combination, we feel in a book, and one which has now been added to our ever lengthening 'Must Read' list.

    The images of summery flowers are lovely and a delight to look at.

  5. Thanks for this post I had know idea that Steve Martin had a book! and I love the flowers especially the white clumpy flowers...hydrangeas?

  6. Tes photos sont superbes! On respire le parfum de ces fleurs à pleins poumons. Oh oui, ça fait du bien, Olga!

  7. OK, now I know what my "next book" shall be. Thanks for the heads up.

    Love your floral pics.

  8. Thanks for the tip on the book. And the flowers too. Art and the bubble burst, and interesting combination :-)

  9. How lovely photos of flowers. Soft and pleasant colors. Wishes you a great weekend Peter.

  10. The book sounds interesting must look out for it. Love the photos of your flowers and especially the one with the butterfly. Keep well Diane

  11. Olga. Thank for brighten my day ... They're beautiful!!
    A kiss

  12. The journey to the wild flower beds are beautiful !

  13. Hi Φανή Παπαγεωργίου, Ζωγράφος,
    Thank you. I really love these modest flowers that appear at the end of the summer.

    Hi Veronique,
    What I like about Steve Martin is that there's no other actor like him, and also that he's very versatile, indeed, as you said.

    Hi Brenda,
    I'm glad you noticed that golden light - it really was magnificent at the moment before sunset. I know why you noticed it - in your photos, light is the main character :)

    Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    I wouldn't say that this book is some kind of a masterpiece, or one of the books that you could return to from time to time. But it is very interesting to read.

    Hi 1-2Punch,
    Thank you. I can't really tell flowers apart that well - I can tell what a rose is, but not much else.

  14. Hi Richard,
    Merci beaucoup. Je suis la collecte de vos compliments, et les conserver pour une journée où j'ai envie de faire moi-même heureux.

    Hi Rick,
    I'm sure you would read this book in one day - it goes very easily.

    Hi Pet,
    I generally like to play around with concepts :)

    Hi Peter,
    It's so fortunate that the summer isn't over yet. There are a few days left! Have a good weekend as well :)

    Hi Diane,
    I also always enjoy all your news from your garden. Your flowers and harvests are so wonderful. My only request is, more please!

  15. Hi Laura.M,
    Thank you very much. I can't believe that the summer is coming to a close, and there won't be flowers growing around.

    Hi Fabio,
    From a professional like you, it's a real compliment! Thank you very much.

    Hi Wong,
    I also always enjoy the flowers from your blog. In particular, the exotic ones that can't be found here.

  16. Hello, Olga

    Lovely your works, full of JOY!

    Thank you world-wide love.
    and, your encouragement.

    The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend.
    from Japan, ruma ❁

  17. all the flowers are so fragile on your pictures!

  18. Oh I love your flower pics,
    absolutely beautiful.

    Oh and you certainly got me interested in getting Steve Martin's book ♥

  19. The flowers pics are so beautiful dear Olga; the park must be a lovely place in which to spend some time.
    xoxoxo ♡

  20. Thank you for the review of the book, it is hard for me to get my mind around the idea of the comedian Steve Martine writing a serious book. Your photos are lovely, I really enjoyed the butterfly photo. Have a great week-end.

  21. Thank you for the book review and the wonderful series of garden images. I have been a fan of Steve Martin since his early years on Saturday Night. He has evolved into a multi-talented person it seems.

  22. I didn't know Steve Martin had written a book till I came here, good to know. I loved your photos of the flowers. Very cheerful and just what I needed to see today, thanks. x

  23. Hi ruma,
    Thank you for your lovely comment. It is so nice to receive it today from Japan :)

    Hi Ola,
    This is so true. Flowers look fragile at the end of the summer. Even the brightest ones. I wonder why.

    Hi Ann,
    I'm sure you won't regret reading this book. Lots of fun and inside information!

    Hi Dianne,
    Thank you for the compliment. I miss the park every time I go somewhere else. That place is an endless source of my inspiration.

    Hi lilylovekin,
    As it turned out, the flower with the butterfly on it attracts these creatures when it blossoms.

    Hi Doug,
    I slowly became a fan of Steve Martin. It's impossible to resist his talents, charms, and uniqueness.

    Hi Happy Frog and I,
    I'm really happy that you enjoy my posts. I try to make them both relaxing and funny :) To escape the tension of daily life.