Austin Osman Spare - Phil Baker
Definitive biography of Austin Osman Spare, the London occult artist now revived in acclaim.
Phil Baker's biography is the definitive work on the painter's life. Researched for over a decade, it is sensitive, brilliant, thorough and highly readable. A rising star of the Edwardian art world, the young Spare was hailed as a genius but he went underground to live in obscurity. Absorbed in occultism and sorcery, he continued to produce extraordinary art while developing a magical philosophy of pleasure, obsession.
Review by Erik Davis: "Baker is a wonderful writer, careful, intelligent and dry. He also knows his London, and the Spare that emerges in his portrayal is very much an avatar of that unique and ancient town; humble Cockney beginnings, the bright years as a smoldering wunderkind, and then a long plunge into poverty, obscurity, and a deep weirdness."