“The Art of David Everett: Another World” (2021) by Becky Duvall Reese presents a well-rounded overview of the Austin artist’s oeuvre. Published by Texas A&M University Press as the 25th volume of their Joe and Betty Moore Texas Art Series, the image-driven monograph offers insights into Everett’s artistic practice while highlighting works from throughout his career.
The publication opens with an introduction by noted novelist Stephen Harrigan. His opening remarks recount his earliest encounter with one of Everett’s sculptures, remarking that he responded to the artist’s work “in the way that a child responds to a toy — drawn in by its vibrant color, seized by a yearning to reach out and touch it.”
An essay titled “Elegies on the Everyday” by longtime Texas art advocate, curator and museum director Reese directly follows. Starting with her first experience with Everett and his work, dating back to the 80s, Reese divulges her thoughts surrounding his “innovative and imaginative” work, stating “each creature he depicts is unique.”
The center section and bulk of the publication consists of color reproductions of Everett’s bold artwork. The work is organized into two sections: sculptures, and drawings and prints. The images are laid out chronologically in their respective categories, displaying an evolutionary look at his style and approach.
Born in Beaumont, Everett’s work has long been inspired by the flora and fauna of the Texas coastline, specifically drawing upon childhood adventures with his grandfather and brother. The allegorical depiction of familiar animals are a hallmark of his totemic sculptures, stylized woodcuts and detailed drawings.
The book concludes with an intimate interview between Everett and author Richard Holland, former curator of the Southwestern Writers Collection. In his own words, Everett recalls stories from adolescence into early adulthood, including his stint in the rock band Six Deep. He goes on to share more personal facts such as the impact of travel on him as well as why he doesn’t produce color drawings anymore.
The publication melds together nicely, offering revelations to both readers familiar with Everett’s work and those discovering it for the first time.
As Reese’s parting words put it: “So, dear reader, take this book home. Look at the pictures. Learn about David Everett’s life and art. I feel sure you will be rewarded.”
‘The Art of David Everett: Another World’
By Becky Duval Reese
With contributions by Stephen Harrigan and Richard Holland
Texas A&M University Press, 2021