On Tuesday 4 April, at 10pm and again at 2.20am, BBC4 TV will be transmitting a programme about the paintings of Desmond Morris, called THE SECRET SURREALIST, as part of an evening of surrealism.
Francesco Gabbani's song OCCIDENTALI'S KARMA that won the San Remo Music Festival and is Italy's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in May, has been watched more than 110 million times in the first 13 weeks after its release, and is the bookies favourite to win. The lyrics contain the repeated line THE NAKED APE IS DANCING, which has resulted in a sudden surge in book sales for THE NAKED APE (LA SCIMMIA NUDA) in Italy and put the book back in the bestseller lists 50 years after its first publication.
Recent paintings by Desmond Morris are currently on view at the Taurus Gallery, North Parade, Oxford.
Forthcoming events 2017
In September, Reaktion Books, London, will be publishing CATS IN ART, in which the author traces the way in which felines have been portrayed, from prehistoric times up to the present day.
The Boats of Malta - The Art of the Fishermen
Faraxa Publishing (Hardcover)
Publication date: 30th June 2016
This book sets out to record one of the major art forms of the Maltese Islands - the painted fishing boats. Each boat is a work of art. It would function just as well if it were painted an overall grey, but instead it displays a complex pattern of bright colours. Each boat has a unique pattern of colours and yet it remains unmistakably Maltese. Studying the complex variations of these colours reveals that each boat-owner is not only a practical fisherman but also an artist. So this book is a study of a local art form that adorns the coastline of Malta and that has done so for many years. It is also a record of the design and history of these boats.
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THE SOCCER TRIBE
Foreword by José Mourinho
Rizzoli International Publications
Publication date: 6th June 2016
A lavishly illustrated revised edition of the 70s cult book, updated by the author and with a bold new design and contemporary images. Before Franklin Foer, Bill Bryson, and Simon Kuper wrote about soccer, best-selling author and highly respected academic Desmond Morris became a director of a soccer club in order to properly analyze the world s most popular sport. In this revelatory book, Morris shares his experiences, guiding the reader through the marked tribal components of soccer, from the life of a team, the players, and their supporters to its symbols, rites, and rules. The Soccer Tribe is a tribute to the game, seen from the perspective of a lifelong fan and specialist. The book is divided into forty-four short chapters, each examining a vital aspect of the life of the Soccer Tribesmen. Included are "Rituals" (the taboos and punishments, goals and strategies); "Heroes" (their skills and superstitions, triumphs and defeats); "Trappings" (balls, costumes, banners and badges, trophies and medals); "Elders" (directors and referees, managers and trainers); "Followers" (old and young, celebrities and fans); and the "Tribal Tongue" (chants and slogans, cheers and curses). From Liverpool to Lyon, Bayern to Barcelona, and Manchester to Milan, Morris passionately dissects and examines every detail, all the way to the jerseys and stadium songs."
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Reaktion Books - Animal (Paperback)
Publication date: October 12th 2015
by Desmond Morris (Author)
Stoic, regal, and formidable in size and strength, the bison has long epitomized the American West. Perhaps this is even more so because we have, in our avarice, nearly destroyed them all, and are now seeking to restore their populations. From spiritual figure to abused resource to powerful symbol of wildlife preservation, the bison is a microcosm of the West itself, and in this book, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris tells its fascinating story from the first evidence of its fossil record two million years ago all the way up to today.
Exploring the bison's evolution and habitat, Morris paints a nuanced portrait of this iconic animal, exploring the different sides of its personality. He shows that, while generally seen as gentle and calm, bison in fact are very unpredictable, liable to attack at any moment. Comparing and contrasting the two remaining species - the European wisent and the American bison - he goes on to tell the heartbreaking story of their near-extinction, how we hunted them down from innumerable numbers to less than a thousand, with such little regard that it was a common practice for train travelers to shoot them from their passing cars. He also tells the story of our more recent efforts - and successes - at bringing them back to such a point that their domestically raised meat has now become a popular alternative to beef. Throughout, Morris balances this natural history with a cultural one, the lore of the bison and the spirit of the west, dotting his text with vibrant images of the bison from nature, art, and popular culture. The result is an absorbing history of one of the most majestic creatures to walk the plains of the earth.
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Other recent books:
Reaktion Books, London.
Publication date: 2nd June 2014
In Leopard, Desmond Morris shows all sides of the animal's character: its athletic elegance, its predatory skill, its wary shyness, its cunning intelligence, its parental devotion and its preference for solitary living, even its capacity to seek revenge. Morris traces the evolution of leopards, their role in circuses, and how we are now making strides in their conservation. He also describes their rich symbolism, and looks at the leopard print in fashion, both haute couture and downmarket, as well as the leopard in art, literature, film and popular culture.
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Published on 2nd December 2013.
by DARK WINDOWS PRESS, 72 LLANDUDNO ROAD, RHOS-ON-SEA, COLWYN BAY, CONWY, LL28 4EJ. UK,
Summary: INROCK is a fantasy story in the same tradition as Alice in Wonderland that can be read by both children and adults. It concerns Jason, a young boy who disappears into INROCK, a mysterious subterranean world that exists inside the rocks. He enters it through one of the megaliths in the prehisoric stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire. The world of INROCK is peopled with strange, frightening and comic creatures with whom Jason experiences a marvellous, perilous adventure. The creatures are illustrated in the book by Desmond Morris. The book is Morris's only published work of fiction and this new, enlarged and illustrated version is being produced in a strictly limited hardback edition.
THE ARTISTIC APE
Published 3rd October 2013
Summary: The Artistic Ape offers a unique insight into the evolution of artistic endeavour over three million years. 45 years on from The Naked Ape, which sold over 12 million copies worldwide, drawing on a lifetime of extensive research and featuring more than 350 illustrations of international art - from the oldest artefact discovered through to Modern Art movements and even contemporary graffiti street art - The Artistic Ape is a book that sets out to explain the nature of human art.
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by Desmond Morris (in the Reaktion Animal series)
Reaktion Books, London, 208p.
Published 3rd June 2013
"As in the first volume of this analytical catalogue raisonné, Morris's work is presented through thematic, biographical and circumstantial analysis. An initial discussion of the genesis and history of the works is followed by an illustrated chronology of the artist's career over a dozen years, a comprehensive account of his exhibitions between 2000 and 2012 and a bibliography of texts and broadcasts. These contextual appraisals precede an illustrated analytical and discursive catalogue of art works. In a final section of the book, the data published in the catalogue of 2001 is updated with information about previously unknown works, exhibitions, provenance and the publication of paintings. Particularly significant is that the starting date of Morris's known activity as an artist has been revised to 1943 and that his juvenile artistic production is discussed and illustrated."