Sophie Crumb: The Evolution of a Crazy Artist
Sophie Crumb
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Buy *Sophie Crumb: The Evolution of a Crazy Artist* by Sophie Crumb online

Sophie Crumb: The Evolution of a Crazy Artist
Sophie Crumb
W.W. Norton
Hardcover (Slipcased, signed and numbered limited edition edition)
304 pages
December 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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When a child is brought up in a literary environment, they tend to write; a car racing environment begets racers; an artistic environment will get you an artist. Sophie Crumb was brought up in that context, and this is what she's done.

I'm a fan of R. Crumb's art. I loved the film based on him and his family and I love Robert's pen work, though the subject matter often doesn't suit my tastes. Depends on my mood. Robert and Aline Crumb wisely saved much of daughter Sophie's art (though I'm sure their initial intent was not to later publish it - no parent I've ever met is that crass).

Sophie started out like any young artist: with crayons and rough knowledge of anatomy. I compare her early work to that of my own daughter, who probably spends less time drawing than Sophie did. Sophie must have gotten some pointers from her mother and father, both accomplished artists themselves, and some of her early work shows amazing aptitude. She began shading at age seven but didn't really use it to good effect until much later, and it's wonderful to see the evolution. Much of her art shows similarities to her father's (any searches on the Internet yield a great deal of Robert's work). Sophie's later drawings are a melange of realism, exaggeration and surrealism.

Most amazing is the way in which Sophie opens her sketchbook to the world, revealing many things that most people prefer to keep private: sexuality, secret thoughts, heartbreak, drug use - the kinds of things I'd never work with my parents to compile. Artists must expose more of themselves; certainly Robert flung open the door on his perversions to be seen by any who would look. Perhaps this permeated the Crumb family. Whatever the cause, the result is fascinating.

There's no telling if Sophie will manage to shake the shadow of her legendary father. Some passages here lead the reader to believe that she doesn't long for a life in art. Whatever her course through this world, I wish her well and thank her for what she's offered of herself. It is amazing and more than I could do.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Eric Renshaw, 2011

Also written, illustrated and/or edited by Aline Crumb:

Also written, illustrated, and/or edited by R. Crumb:

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