Friday, May 16, 2014

The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy by Ursus Wehrli

My reviews this week were all a little heavy, so I figured I’d lighten things up a bit for Friday.  The Art of Clean Up by Ursus Wehrli definitely fits the bill.  Wehrli is a typographer and comedian and if you think those occupations have nothing in common, you should check out The Art of Clean Up.  In it, Wehrli takes random situations and puts them in “order.”  So, a disorganized clothesline with different items hanging here and there gets organized by size and color.  Alphabet soup gets alphabetized.  Some of the real humor comes from how he orders things that he can’t just keep in place – chickens, for instance.

The book features large pages of bright, colorful photography.  The page on the left is a picture of real life as it happens and the page on the right is a picture of the same scene after Wehrli has spent countless hours making everything just so.  The photography is very well done, ranging from close-ups of food to aerial shots of a parking lot.  It’s rare to find a wordless book that can still make you laugh out loud but The Art of Clean Up does it.  Just in showing it to some coworkers, several mentioned almost immediately how much certain “meticulous” family members would enjoy it.  A coworker also pointed out how in the picture below, the child does not look very pleased with the “orderly” sandbox.

For another book making order out of the everyday, try Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living reviewed here.

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