It’s great that books like this can still get published. ‘Overspray’ is an overview of the golden age of airbrush art. Focusing on four exponents in the epicentre of the genre in Seventies California, it paints a glistening picture of the environment that spawned this trashy yet technically demanding form of illustration. Even if you’re not a fan of airbrush, many of the images on these pages will be surprisingly familiar – from Levi’s ads, to Rolling Stones covers, to movie posters, to Playboy illustrations.
The subject matter is wonderfully garish, super-shiny, super-suggestive, super-real. Everything seems to glint and drip – a world of high-camp high-gloss, where kinkiness and sci-fi surrealism rub shoulders. Better still, ‘Overspray’ isn’t simply eye candy – it makes a sterling attempt to contextualise and analyse the work on show, examining the influences, motives and techniques of its foremost practitioners. Oh, and I probably should declare an interest at this point. It was written and put together by my old buddy Norman Hathaway – but don’t let that put you off. You can get your hands on a copy of ‘Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art’