Art is Magic is artist Jeremy Deller’s attempt to tie up the key works of his career alongside the art, pop music, film, politics and history that have inspired his work. Much has been written about Deller over the decades but this is the first time he has pulled together all of his cultural touchstones.
It is divided into three sections: a visual guide through his favourite work, in-depth reflections on his life and art and, finally, a scrapbook of images to explain what drives him (from Rod Stewart to bats, the perfect jukebox to neolithic axe heads). The book features work from across Deller’s life and art – much of it never seen before. These include his inflatable Stonehenge for the Glasgow International festival, the Miners’ Strike (his Battle of Orgreave film), bats (a subject in at least three of Deller’s works), Andy Warhol (whom he met in 1986), the links between the Industrial Revolution and Heavy Metal, and hen harriers pecking out the eyes of a Tory MP (featured in his mural against grouse shooting created for the Venice Biennale). Art is Magic gives us the most rigorous account of Deller and his work to date. Something for everybody.