Matt Lamb: The Art of Success

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Wiley, Apr 7, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
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Matt Lamb emerged from the rough-and-tumble streets of 1940s Southside Chicago to transform a cash-poor funeral parlor into a multimillion-dollar business empire. But when a mysterious midlife illness caused him to question the true value of his myriad accomplishments, Lamb stunned family, friends, colleagues, and competitors by turning his back on business to become a self-taught painter.

The undulating spirits and flamboyant depictions of heaven and hell that sprang from his brush were at once sophisticated and primitive, uplifting and disturbing.

Today, Lamb's unique vision has made him one of the world's most controversial painters. Tagged by some as an "outsider artist," a designation he has alternately embraced and rejected, Lamb has seen his work collected by museums, universities, celebrities, and royalty—even as his art has been blacklisted by some of New York's most powerful dealers. He has won rapturous reviews from critics in publications from London to Shanghai and has been hailed as an heir to Pablo Picasso, even as he—and his millions—have been derided as the antithesis of starving-artist chic.

In Matt Lamb: The Art of Success, renowned writer and critic Richard Speer tells Lamb's story in a no-holds-barred style that is both uncompromising and uplifting. Given unprecedented access to Matt Lamb's inner circle and the artist himself, Speer traverses the world to discover what drove Lamb to triumph in the diametrically opposed worlds of art and business. Speer coaxes Lamb to open up about his personal and artistic crises, the unconventional spiritual beliefs that inform his paintings, and his daunting current project: painting for world peace.

Matt Lamb: The Art of Success is a fascinating biography and artistic chronicle filled with inspiration for finding true success in every aspect of life.

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About the author (2005)

RICHARD SPEER is an Associated Press Award–winning writer whose essays and reviews have appeared in Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, ARTnews, Opera News, and other publications. He is Visual Arts Critic at Portland, Oregon's groundbreaking alternative newspaper, Willamette Week. Formerly a television news anchor/reporter, Speer has worked at CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX affiliates throughout the United States. Among the national and international figures he has profiled are opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, composer Philip Glass, and architects E. Fay Jones and James Lambeth. An accomplished public speaker, Speer lectures on aesthetics, criticism, and popular culture in academic and popular forums around the world.

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