Lining up: Beat book painting now limited edition print
Shelf portrait proves to be spine art
A REMARKABLE painting of a collection of books with strong links to the Beat Generation is to be made available as a limited edition print, the artist has confirmed. The hyperreal image, entitled Beatitude and crafted in oils, depicts a shelf of book spines all of which are associated with Beat writers or rock musicians who’ve taken their cue from the literary movement.
As we reported back in 2022, painter Roo Waterhouse, whose studio is in the north of England, specialises in finely depicted realisations of book collections, some conceived by the artist herself, some commissioned by bibliophiles who want their favourite titles lined up and captured on canvas. The talented woman behind this series calls them ‘Shelf Portraits’.
Beatitude frames, in impeccable detail, the spines of famed volumes by Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and William Burroughs, Neal and Carolyn Cassady and Diane di Prima, plus work by associated authors Ken Kesey, Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe alongside titles linked to major musical figures: Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
The 17 items on show – On the Road and Naked Lunch, ‘Howl’ and Dylan’s novel Tarantula among them – are immaculately re-created, including their distinctive typographic styles and cover pantones. Even closely observed details – creasing and cracking, wear and tear – are incorporated. The outcome is a most convincing trompe-l'œil, a near photo quality snap of a row of classic counterculture texts.
Pictured above: Beatitude (2022) by Roo Waterhouse
The original painting, completed in 2022, was sold at a Cambridge art gallery last autumn for an impressive £1,400 but the artist has now released just 100 signed prints of this eye-catching artwork for sale.
Says the Yorkshire-based Waterhouse: ‘The original image is now in the hands of a private individual, but this just-released 2024 version is available for purchase at £105 unframed. Delivery to the US is also available.’
The fine art prints, which are signed by the artist and numbered, also carry a certificate of authentication. Presented on 280g paper, they are backed and mounted (except for US customers) and measure 12”x 16” or 17”x 21” with window mount. Full details of delivery schedules – and transatlantic orders – can be found by visiting the link below:
See also: ‘Paperback Painter’, July 6th, 2022