The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas (Daniel James, Dead Ink 2018) – review.

D. James’ genre-mashing/-defying debut is described (rightly so) as a postmodern noir-detective story, but it reads as much more than this. It is a pseudo-biographic study of the elusive, mysterious, multimedia, avant-garde artist, Ezra Maas: one of the strangest artistic geniuses to almost emerge during the late 20th/early 21st century. For such a prolific figure very little is known of Maas and D. James has clearly had to dig deep to unearth this (or, indeed any) life story. The book is sumptuously laden with minutiae, supposition and ephemera & (to this mind -being a Maasive Ezra fan and modest collector-) new, hard facts about the artist. Yes, there are the usual anecdotes that are no doubt well-known to the common modern art/rocknroll aficionado: so, yes, we find the Warhol/Factory relationship, the late 60s Californian connections, the inevitable Bowie comparisons, et al), but D. James has laboured tremendously here, at great expense to his mental and physical well-being, to scrape away the many layers of this art giant about whom scant detail has ever been available. ‘The Unauthorised Biography of…’ comes on as a conspiracy fuelled, encyclopaedic & meditative trompe l’oeil tapestry; a bold attempt to unravel the story behind one of our most puzzling artistic & ghostly figures.

5 thoughts on “The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas (Daniel James, Dead Ink 2018) – review.

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