This incredibly funny and clever satire is frankly brilliant. Produced by multidisciplinary artist Miriam Elia, the book is a parody of, and a tribute to, the Ladybird Early Leaning books of the ‘60s. Instead of Mummy taking Peter and Jane to the supermarket, here she takes John and Susan to an art gallery to teach them about the ‘debilitating middle-class self-hatred in contemporary art.’ Accompanied by Elia’s colourful, vintage illustrations, we see John and Susan learn about feminism, venture capitalism and nihilism as they wander through the gallery.
Readers will recognise many of the works of art in We Go to the Gallery. That’s part of the joy. As is the design of the book, published by Elia’s own Dung Beetle Press. It will prove a real treat for anyone who enjoyed the Ladybird books as a child, as well as lovers of design. After a successful small print run, the book is now being printed as a commercial edition this September.
We can expect this book to find a place on the shelf of every book and art lover. Not only is it intelligent and hilarious, it’s the kind of book you find something new in with each reading. The perfect Christmas gift, I imagine this book to be a staple in art galleries, book and gift shops for many years to come.