in conversation with Mary Roach
Get the Picture
A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See
In-Person Event • Book Passage (SF Ferry Building)
Fri., February 16th • 5:30pm PT
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2024 by NPR, Lit Hub, and The Millions
“Sheer pleasure: the best book I've ever read about contemporary art.” —Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sontag
“Immersive reporting along the lines of George Plimpton or Barbara Ehrenreich with...a gift for clever formulations that recalls Oscar Wilde…[Get the Picture] could not be more fun. A delightful book on an inspiring topic by a writer who could make dust sparkle.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
The New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork takes readers on another fascinating, hilarious, and revelatory journey—this time burrowing deep inside the impassioned, secretive world of art and artists
An award-winning journalist obsessed with obsession, Bianca Bosker’s existence was upended when she wandered into the art world—and couldn’t look away. Intrigued by artists who hyperventilate around their favorite colors and art fiends who max out credit cards to show hunks of metal they think can change the world, Bosker grew fixated on understanding why art matters and how she—or any of us—could engage with it more deeply.
In Get the Picture, Bosker throws herself into the nerve center of art and the people who live for it: gallerists, collectors, curators, and, of course, artists themselves—the kind who work multiple jobs to afford their studios while scrabbling to get eyes on their art. As she stretches canvases until her fingers blister, talks her way into A-list parties full of billionaire collectors, has her face sat on by a nearly-naked performance artist, and forces herself to stare at a single sculpture for hours on end while working as a museum security guard, she discovers not only the inner workings of the art-canonization machine but also a more expansive way of living.
Bianca Bosker is the New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Best American Travel Writing, and been recognized with awards from the New York Press Club,
Society of Professional Journalists, and more. For more information, visit biancabosker.com
Mary Roach is the author of the New York Times bestsellers STIFF, SPOOK, BONK, GULP, GRUNT and PACKING FOR MARS. Her newest book FUZZ: When Nature Breaks the Law, debuted in September 2021.
Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, among others, and her TED Talk made the TED 20 Most Watched list. She has been a guest editor for Best American Science and Nature Writing, a finalist for the Royal Society’s Winton Prize, and a winner of the American Engineering Societies’ journalism award, in a category for which, let’s be honest, she was the sole entrant.
Bianca Bosker photo courtesy of the author . Mary Roach photo courtesy of Jen Siska.