A Happy Family Is Always Happy in the Same Way, a Sad Family Is Different

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12/06/2007 11:00 AM |

There’s a book called A Field Guide to the North American Family, although it’s more of an illustrated novella, about how two families unravel after the death of a patriarch. Secrets, lies, sex, dreams, sex dreams. The book is basically 63 entries, each of which is a combination of art and words telling a story about one family member. Or, as the site says, “each comprising a chapter of text and a visual artist’s response to the entry’s title: Adolescence, Boredom, Chemistry…” et cetera.

That’s the book. And then there’s a website, afieldguide.com, that encourages people everywhere to create their own text-and-art works to explain an episode or some aspect of the North American Family. You know what? I’m actually not so clear on which came first, the website or the book, or if the book’s images came from the website, or if the chicken ate its own egg. Visit this website to make your own answers.

But it sounds good, and there’s an art exhibition of the words-and-images family stories that people have made so far, and it’s up at Gallery Bar in the Lower East Side tonight, where there will be free wine from 7 to 8pm, and then drink specials until midnight.

For instance, this picture represents “Resignation.” Follow the link for my favorite, divorce.

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