Creature by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan is an artist, and author of books where the art is at the centre (such as the lovely Cicada). Creature is a collection of paintings from his production chosen by him to explain his own view of his art.

The book is divided into four main art themes: lost things, companions, myth and metaphor, and birds, but as noted by Tan, that are only different aspects of the overarching Creature. In general, Tan’s short commentary texts at the beginning of each chapter are very clear in the way they are going through inspiration and background related to the art. And, of course, the art is the main point of the book.

The art is beatiful. All these different creatures that are often too big, too small or to scary to seem useful but still has identity and a reason to exist. They seem to reside also in my dreams, because they feel so familiar but yet so weird. This makes Creature a very nice art book for me to just sit down and absorb the images, and slowly let my fantasy carry me away somewhere.

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