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Heroes: A Tribute,Trade Edition

Edited by Beth Dunlop / Photographer Mark Roskams

Heroes: A Tribute celebrates the lives and contributions of 49 brilliant creative figures who were early victims of HIV/AIDS—unique portraits by artist Doug Meyer reflect the core of each individual and are paired with insightful obituaries.

In Heroes: A Tribute, artist Doug Meyer celebrates the lives and accomplishments of creative pioneers who were victims of HIV/AIDS in the early years of the epidemic. Brilliant figures from the worlds of art, design, film, and dance are honored in this art book—people such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, Rudolph Nureyev, Freddie Mercury, Rock Hudson, John Duka, Tina Chow, Klaus Nomi, Halston, and Angelo Donghia.

Heroes began as an installation at a DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation to Fight AIDS) event, and grew into a traveling exhibition. The portraits vary significantly in form, material, and style, and incorporate drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. In his multi-dimensional artwork, Meyer often blends techniques and media, such as terracotta, églomisé, papier-mâché, and computer-generated collage. The text includes essays by Meyer and contributing writer Beth Dunlop as well as brief biographies of each hero that highlight the important contributions these figures made to the worlds of art, design, and culture. This beautifully designed book features sophisticated graphic design and includes pages from Doug Meyer’s sketchbooks showing his artistic process. A true celebration, Heroes: A Tribute both pays homage to these visionary creatives who died too soon, and it teaches younger generations about these important figures. This book will appeal to all who have an interest in art, design, fashion, creativity, gay and LGBTQ issues and history, and more.

Doug Meyer is a conceptual artist and designer based in New York City, with work that ranges from creating site-specific spaces to curating museum exhibitions. His recent work focuses on three-dimensional art pieces, including the heroes’ portraits, and his ongoing Cameos series. He has created collections of fabric, wallpaper, rugs, lighting, and tiles with his brother, fashion designer Gene Meyer. His work has been published worldwide.

"Interior designer and artist Doug Meyer has created 50 ‘portraits’—busts, statuettes, intaglios, multimedia sculptures—of creative people who died of AIDS and AIDS-related causes in the ’80s and ’90s."

– T, The New York Times Style Magazine

“Each artwork, strikingly unique to its honoree, was conceptualized by Meyer to, in some way, resemble or represent an essence of the artist. Together, the collection serves as a reminder of the magnitude of the crisis …the book, in its vibrant color and loving tributes… is as much a joyful ode to these lives and the worlds they created as it is a somber recognition of an era marked by tragedy.”

– San Francisco Chronicle

“Artist and designer Doug Meyer remembers figures ranging from architects Frank Israel and Alan Buchsbaum to interior designers Tice Alexander and Jay Spectre.”

– Architectural Digest

“Doug Meyer’s Heroes is a gorgeous feast for the eyes and soul that not only honors the creative geniuses who died too soon, but immortalizes their work for generations to come.”

– Advocate

“Meyer…created three-dimensional hand-made ‘portraits’ of some of the earliest creatives lost to AIDS…‘The book is my way of letting people know that these men and women existed,’ said Meyer.”

– Elle Décor

“For artist and designer Doug Meyer, paying homage to the early victims of AIDS is more than just an honor; it’s a responsibility he feels he has to today’s younger generations.”

– luxe.daily

"Memorializing death…in art allows us to share it much more universally…Heroes is utterly moving."

– Modern Magazine

“The gut punch of missing them [the heroes] is supplemented by the joy and inspiration each person contributed to our lives and culture.”

– Cultured Magazine

“The portraits cohere into an incredibly beautiful but heart-wrenching reminder of the losses our culture suffered during the Plague Years…the wonderful, witty portraits that Meyer has created, which fill this beautifully photographed book…Heroes: A Tribute should prove valuable to people just discovering these artists and those who lived through the same times."

– A & U: America’s AIDS Magazine

“Meyer wanted to create an homage to the cause: honoring creatives who lost their lives to AIDS in the ’80s and ’90s…Each of these people…left a mark on their artistic industry, whether that was design, music or something else…many younger people in those industries didn’t know who came before them and didn’t understand that there was a time when being diagnosed with AIDS was essentially a death sentence…the portraits serve as a history lesson of sorts, allowing younger individuals to be introduced to some of these heroes for the first time.”

– Courier Journal (Louisville)

More books from this author: Doug Meyer