While you spent your quarantine era pondering how did you get there and where is that large automobile, David Byrne was on a break from American Utopia illustrating and writing an entire book for us. So considerate! So talented! So handsome! Phaidon unveiled today that Byrne’s A History of the World (In Dingbats) will be published in March 2022, featuring dozens of original Byrne drawings created in lockdown that “evoke the complex, global systems the pandemic cast in bright light.” Contrary to popular belief, dingbats are not only dumb bats, but instead a typographic ornament used to illuminate or break up blocks of text; he illustrates this through whimsical drawings of people, places, and things, such as an office building with feet or country roads with women’s eyes. Byrne previously showcased these works at New York’s Pace Gallery in November 2020, writing at the time that “I got a bit carried away and made them quite a bit more elaborate than the typical dingbat.” Related: You’re a dingbat if you still haven’t seen American Utopia.
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