What are the best memoirs about artists?

asked by Anonymous
218 contributors
29 solutions
  1. 51

    #1Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

    Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind

    Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind is a biography written by Charles Nicholl. It chronicles the life of the famous Italian Renaissance man, including mysteries that continue to shroud him such as the true identity of Mona Lisa.

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    Sarah Murray
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This is one of the better Leonardo da Vinci biographies I have read. Rather than lift him up as merely a singular genius, the book takes the measure of the whole man as a complex being. While there's much we still don't know about him, Nicholl manages to discuss the myths and unknowns with as much care and depth as the facts. A great biography of a great man's whose work will always shape our artistic beliefs."
  2. 45

    #2A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-1906

    A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-1906
    A Life of Picasso: The Prodigy, 1881-1906 is a biography of the famous Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, written by John Richardson. It is the first volume in the three-volume biography, chronicling his childhood in Málaga.
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    Melissa Jackson
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "I have always had a soft spot for classic works of art, and I was eager to read this book about Picasso. It is definitely the best memoir about an artist. I appreciated the fact that the author was able to stay neutral and present the life of Picasso in an unbiased way. I really enjoyed reading about his life and his works and his family."
  3. 23

    #3Van Gogh: The Life

    Van Gogh: The Life
    Van Gogh: The Life is a biography of the famous Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh, written by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. It is a comprehensive account of his life, giving insights into Van Gogh's world.
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    Keith Griffin
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I've always been a fan of Van Gogh so my friend surprised me with this book the other month. It really is quite interesting so far. It is very detailed and quite long but if you want to know all you can about Van Gogh, this is a must read."
  1. 18

    #4L'Americain: A Photojournalist's Life

    L'Americain: A Photojournalist's Life

    L'Americain: A Photojournalist's Life is a fictional novel written by John Launois and Chirs Pan Launois. This fictional novel was published on October 15, 2013 by Prospecta Press.

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    Linda Robinson
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "Television did not come into existence until 1940, to occupy one's evening at home, story writers had to become very creative with stories that would capture the audience' imagination. This is what the memoir is about. "
  2. 12

    #5MM-Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe

    MM-Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe
    MM-Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe is written by Lois Banner based on more than 10,000 unseen and unpublished items from Marilyn’s own file cabinets such as documents, snapshots, letters, and memorabilia.
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    Daniel Black
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I'm fascinated with Marilyn Monroe and I learned more than I ever thought that I could by reading this. So many interesting and unknown things are revealed. I'll be reading it again,"
  3. 11

    #6Renoir, My Father

    Renoir, My Father
    Renoir, My Father is a biography of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, written by his son, Jean Renoir. It chronicles the life of the French Impressionist painter, giving invaluable insights into his personality and his philosphy.
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    Roy Burke
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "fits topic perfect and good reviews"
  4. 10

    #7The Lives of the Artists

    The Lives of the Artists

    The Lives of Artists is a book written by Giorgi Vasari, translated from the original Italian by Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. It chronicles the lives of thirty-six men who greatly influenced the Renaissance art movement.

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    Betty Roberts
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "My daughter needed a book that complied memoirs of various artists and I came across The Lives of Artists, a book written by Giorgi Vasari. Although the original is in Italian, it is translated by Julia Conway beautifully to capture the Renaissance art movement."
  5. 8

    #8Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

    Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

    Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain is written by Charles R. Cross based on the exclusive access to Cobain's unreleased diaries, more than 400 interviews and documentation, revealing his early life to his rise to fame. 

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    Rigoberto Villarreal
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This was an excellent resource for learning some of the things behind the artist in question. The book was very well researched for many years and contains a wealth of information. It is the first in depth bio on K. Cobain and it does not disappoint. Just what i was looking for. "
  6. 5

    #9Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

    Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

    Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir is written by Carrie Brownstein which is a narrative of her early life and her transition to the music industry. It also reveals the subculture in the independent music industry.  

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    Scott Berry
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "A book about Carrie Brownstein and her life. It follows her dive into the independent music industry."
  7. 3

    #10Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

    Total Recall: My Unbelievable True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger is an autobiography novel originally published in 2012. This book tells Schwarzenegger's career as an actor, bodybuilder, as well as his political life.

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    Lisa Bowman
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I see Schwarzenegger as an actor/politician, not an artist. Even his acting wasn't that great. I would be searching for an actual artist."
  8. 2

    #11Warhol: The Biography

    Warhol: The Biography
    Warhol: The Biography is a book written by Victor Bockris about the life of the famous American artist. It tells of Warhol's early years, his rise to fame, and his indelible contribution to popular culture and the art world.
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    Bobby Aguilar
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Warhol: The Biography is one of the best memoirs about artists that I've read in awhile. I learned some new things from it and enjoyed the read. Well written."
  9. 1

    #12Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo

    Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo

    Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo is a book written by historian Hayden Herrera. It chronicles the life of the renowned Mexican artist, including her childhood, her romantic interests, political ideologies, and her art.

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    Michael Harris
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo is a book that follows Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her life story. It really follows a lot of her experience during the Mexican Revolution near Mexico City as well as an accident that prevented her from having children. It's an interesting read that anyone should pickup to learn more about the lives of particular artists."
  10. 0

    #13How to Be a Man

    How to Be a Man
    How to Be a Man: (and other illusions) is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Duff McKagan and Chris Kornelis. This book about the band Guns N' Roses was published on May 12, 2015 by Da Capo Press.
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    James Ryan
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I was not impressed by this book, because I have read better Guns N' Roses books. The book lacked details and I did not really learn a lot about the members I did not already know. I did not like how short the book was and I will not go back to it."
  11. 0

    #14Watch You Bleed

    Watch You Bleed

    Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N' Roses is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Stephen Davis. This book about Guns N' Roses was published on August 26, 2008 by Gotham.

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    Kathleen Lynch
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "I love Guns N' Roses so I picked this book up. It was deeply informative and I was highly impressed with the quality of the writing."
  12. 0

    #15Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces

    Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces

    Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces is a biography about Michelangelo written by Miles J. Unger. Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces was published by Cambridge University Press.

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    Patricia Price
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "This is a good biography on Michelangelo. I would recommend it to anyone."
  13. 0

    #16Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

    Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

    Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina is a memoir by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince. Published in 2014, Taking Flight narrates the author's experiences regarding her escape from Sierra Leone to her rise as star ballerina.

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    Larry Hopkins
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Taking Flight is an okay memoir but many will find it lacking. The book is not for young adults and will be very difficult for many to read."
  14. 0

    #17Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City

    Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City
    Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City: A True Story of Faking It in Hair Metal L.A. is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Anne Thomas Soffee. This book about Guns N' Roses was published on September 28, 2005 by Chicago Review Press.
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    Billy Garcia
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I was expecting a memoir of a musician an artist but it was about a lady becoming a rock journalists. It was an interesting life story but not what i expected."
  15. 0

    #18Killing Yourself to Live

    Killing Yourself to Live

    Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Chuck Klosterman. This book about the Guns N' Roses was published on June 13, 2006 by Scribner.

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    Sean Gomez
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Killing Yourself to Live is a great book that I could not put down. In it, Klosterman goes on somewhat of a bender and visits the famous sites where rock and roll pioneers killed themselves. Great historical memoir!"
  16. 0

    #19Guns N' Roses FAQ

    Guns N' Roses FAQ

    Guns N' Roses FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Bad Boys of Sunset Strip is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Rich Weidman. Guns N' Roses FAQ was published on April 1, 2017 by Backbeat Books.

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    Sarah Gutierrez
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "Meh, this wouldn't be my choice. Maybe a David Bowie or the Beatles even but not GnR. Boring and dull..."
  17. 0

    #20If Chins Could Kill

    If Chins Could Kill

    If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of A B Movie Actor is a nonfiction book about movies written by Bruce Campbell. This nonfiction book about movies was published on August 24, 2002 by L.A. Weekly Books.

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    Andrea Ferguson
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "This book is a perfect match to this topic. Highly recommend reading."
  18. 0

    #21Rebel without a Crew

    Rebel without a Crew

    Rebel without a Crew is a nonfiction book about movies written by Robert Rodrihuez. This nonfiction book about movies was published on September 1, 1996 by Plume.

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    Lisa Allen
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This is a great book and it's really funny. If you are a filmmaker then this is the book to get, especially if you feel discouraged while trying to make your film. The first time I read this was when I didn't get accepted into filmschool and some recommended the book to me. reading about Rodriguez having the same experience as me and he made his movies anyway really inspired me to make my own."
  19. 0

    #22Adventures in the Screen Trade

    Adventures in the Screen Trade

    Adventures in the Screen Trade is a nonfiction book about movies written by William Goldman. This nonfiction book about movies was published on March 10, 1989 by Grand Central Publishing.

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    Jose Howell
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "He gives a lot of good information about screenwriting. It's a fascinating behind the scenes look at how Hollywood actually works. It left a negative impression on my views of the movie industry."
  20. 0

    #23My Appetite for Destruction

    My Appetite for Destruction

    My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Steven Adler and Lawrence J. Spagnola. This book about Guns N' Roses was published on July 17, 2010 by It Books.

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    Nicholas Hoffman
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Bland and predictable. Yes, it's "sex, drugs, and Rock-n-Roll" but I wanted to know more about the personal lives of the band and this just isn't it... sensational pablum!"
  21. 0

    #24It's So Easy: and other lies

    It's So Easy: and other lies

    It's So Easy: and other lies is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Duff MckKagan. It's So Easy: and other lies was published on October 4, 2011 by Touchstone.

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    Helen Adams
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This is a very well written book about Duff and how he struggled: penniless, homeless to become a famous artist. His journey is daunting and many would have given up in his position. I found this book to be inspiring and very interesting to read about his life."
  22. 0

    #25Reckless Road

    Reckless Road

    Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Marc Canter. This book about Guns N' Roses was published on August 1, 2008 by Music Sales.

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    Patrick May
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "i would buy this for my mother, has good reviews and is bound to be interesting given guns and roses constant issues"
  23. 0

    #26Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture

    Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture

    Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture is a nonfiction historical book written by Stefan Zweig and translated by M Eden Paul and Cedar Paul.This nonfiction historical book was published on August 31, 1998 by Pushkin Press.

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    Mildred Wheeler
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I love reading nonfiction historical books and I just loved Casanova: A Study in Self-Portraiture. I think it's one of the best memoirs about artists that I have read. I learned so much information that I never knew about. Stefan Zweig tells the story like no other. "
  24. 0

    #27Wounds of Passion

    Wounds of Passion

    Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life is a memoir and autobiography written by famous author bell hooks, whose real name is Gloria Jean Watkins. It was originally released in 1997. It is about the author's struggles. It is a San Fran Chronicle best-seller.

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    Aanya Jayaraman
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Wounds of Passion is an autobiography that details the like of an artist. Such an inspiring story."
  25. 0

    #28Positively 4th Street

    Positively 4th Street

    Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña is a non-fiction book written by David Hajdu. This was originally published in 2001.

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    Marie Ross
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is quite a memoir about four artists in the time folk music was emerging. It's about Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez Farina and Richard Farina inspiring music in america. A multi memoir will definitely teach you a lot. "
  26. 0

    #29Appetite for Destruction

    Appetite for Destruction

    Appetite for Destruction: The Days of Guns N' Roses is a book about the band Guns N' Roses written by Danny Sugerman. This book about Guns N' Roses was published on July 1, 1991 by St. Martin's Press.

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    Samuel Banks
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "I wasn't really a fan of the Guns N' Roses when I picked this book up, but I was trying to get into it for a friend of mine. I didn't get a lot of the references made towards the beginning of the book, but by the end I felt like I was getting to know the band. Really interesting. I'd recommend it for any fan."
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