Title: High Riders, Saints and Death Cars: A Life Saved by Art
Author: Nicholas Herrera
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Concepts: incentives, jobs, career
Review: Acclaimed folk artist Nicholas Herrera drew much inspiration from his youth, especially from his artistic mother and his rebellious antics around town with friends. Those antics, however, became more harmful over time as he turned to drug use and heavy drinking, culminating in a serious car accident that left him in a coma for several weeks. The accident left him with a new resolve to stop drinking and pursue sculpting and painting as a serious career. Increasing attention from private collectors and museums helped to drive up demand, thus turning his art into a means for supporting himself and his family.
This appealing biographical and photographic essay shines the spotlight on a prolific folk artist who has a story as unique as his sculptures and paintings. Several economic lessons are interwoven into the narrative, particularly the financial side of sustaining oneself as an artist. With its stunning photographs of Herrera's works and a lively narrative, the book should appeal to a wide readership.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children