Tamara Shopsin - book author
Tamara Shopsin is the author of books: Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir, These Colors Are Bananas: Published in Association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, Find Colors: Published in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, A Pile of Leaves: Published in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, This Equals That, 5 Year Diary: Blue Cover, Tamara Shopsin: What Is This?, Tamara Shopsin: c'Est Le Pied II, Tamara Shopsin: c'Est Le Pied!
Tamara Shopsin, the acclaimed New York Times and New Yorker illustrator, takes the reader on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Whole Foods and luxury condos. The center of Tamara’s universe is Shopsin’s, her family’s legendary corner store/restaurant/hangout, run by her inimitable dad, Kenny—a brilliant, loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York’s best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. We follow Kenny as he pursues his destiny through early factory jobs, superintendent gigs, and crossword-puzzle mania. His temper flares as often as his humor, keeping Tamara, her mom, and her siblings constantly off-balance but giddy to be along for the always bracing ride. And the cast of supporting characters is unforgettable—oddballs and misfits, cops and con men, sax players and waitresses, longshoremen and poets, and crafty Willoughby “Willy” Jones, an old-time swindler and lady-killer from the South who improbably becomes Kenny’s foil and best friend. All comers find a place at Shopsin’s table and feast on Kenny’s tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne.
At its core, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art. It’s a place where serendipity trumps logic and overplanning can cause you to miss out on the fun of a midnight walk to the giant bubbling margarita glass perched precariously over the Mexican joint on Seventh Avenue. It’s about taking the day as it flows, treasuring experiences over things, and embracing the crazy but essential messiness of relationships.
Filled with clever illustrations and witty, nostalgic photographs and graphics, and told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic that will encourage readers to rediscover the vital spontaneity that we may have unwisely traded for the shelter of predictability.
An extraordinarily moving memoir from an iconoclastic new talent—an artist, cook, and illustrator whose adventures at home and abroad reveal the importance of living life with your eyes wide open.
Best known for her witty illustrations, and as a cook beside her mischievous father in her family’s legendary Manhattan restaurant, in Mumbai New York Scranton, Tamara Shopsin offers a brilliantly inventive, spare, and elegant chronicle of a year in her life characterized by impermanence. In a refreshingly original voice alternating between tender and brazen, Shopsin recounts a trip to the Far East with her sidekick husband and the harrowing adventure that unfolds when she comes home. Entire worlds, deep relationships, and indelible experiences are portrayed in Shopsin’s deceptively simple and sparse language and drawings.
Blending humor, love, suspense—and featuring photographs by Jason Fulford—Mumbai New York Scranton inspires a kaleidoscope of emotions. Shopsin’s surprising and affecting tale will keep you on the edge of your seat.
What color is a banana? It can be at least 25 different shades, according to this artful swatchbook of versatile subjects. An inversion of the way we typically look at color, this book challenges readers' predispositions towards using a particular crayon for a particular object. 11 items are each presented alongside a grid of color ranges: the "apple" page features yellows, greens, and reds; the "egg" page a range of greens to grays; even "grass" is surprising, with suggestions of pink. The read-along text is playful and philosophical, poetic and factual… all towards expanding readers' assumptions. Inspired by the Whitney Museum's approach to looking at art, these books provide a new way to look at the world.
Created for ages 2-4 years
This introduction to colors integrates the reader's surroundings into carefully considered die-cut silhouettes, providing children the space to visually experiment. Readers will gaze around the room through a rooster-shaped hole in search of something red, through a sun-shaped hole for something yellow, through squiggly worms for something pink. Designed for the youngest readers, this sturdy board book features 12 die-cuts made to flip and carry on a color-seeking mission. Inspired by the Whitney Museum's approach to looking at art, these books provide a new way to look at the world.
Readers explore the concept of layering and collage with this interactive exercise in composition. Each clear acetate page features a single element in the leaf pile, though some are not leaves at all! As readers turn the pages, the leaf pile is deconstructed piece by piece on the right side, and reconstructed on the left. Younger readers will enjoy the seek-and-find aspect of the hidden objects, while older readers might experiment by adding their own images between the pages. A key at the back provides the names of each kind of leaf shown. Inspired by the Whitney Museum's approach to looking at art, these books provide a new way to look at the world.
Colors are brighter than they appear - printed in pure Pantones.
Jason Fulford (born 1973) is a photographer and cofounder of the nonprofit J&L Books. He is a contributing editor at Blind Spot and a frequent lecturer at universities. His monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010) and Hotel Oracle (2013).
Tamara Shopsin (born 1979) is a graphic designer and illustrator whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Good, Time, Wired and Newsweek. She is the author of Mumbai New York Scranton and designer of 5 Year Diary. She is also a cook at her family's restaurant, Shopsin's, in New York.