Belletrist TAKES OVER Beautiful Bizarre

Every month Beautiful Bizarre Magazine chooses one of our favourite artists to TAKE OVER social media for the day. In 2019, we have decided to extend this event to all types of artists and art lovers to add culture and couture to our artistic conversation. For May, we chose Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss, the co-founders of literary community Belletrist to share with us the artists who have inspired them.

Just in case you missed it, below we present the full TAKE OVER. 

Belletrist// Hi there, we’re Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss from Belletrist, an online reading community celebrating all things literary! Belletrist chooses a book every month to read and discuss. You can follow along Belletrist on Instagram and sign up for the newsletter at www.belletrist.com to join our celebration of books, authors and, of course, readers.


Hilma Af Klint// Hilma Af Klint has had what some might call a pre-meditated renaissance. We went to see her show recently at The Guggenheim and were transfixed by her modernity despite working over a century ago. Even the most casual viewer can see Klint’s search for the spiritual in her work. It is worth doing a deep dive on some of her intellectual leanings, specifically with The Friday Group, which was comprised of Hilma and four other like-minded women who would meet on Fridays to study the new Testament and partake in spiritual seances. This group begs for a modern-day interpretation… maybe in the form of a bookclub?

Georgia O’Keefe// Georgia O’Keefe has been a major source of inspiration for Belletrist, not only as an artist but also as a creative intellectual. We founded Belletrist right around the time that the Brooklyn Museum had mounted an incredible show of her work and photographs of the artist. A recent “biography of couples” called Foursome by Carolyn Burke charts her longtime relationship with Alfred Stieglitz (who took this photo in 1923) and their friendship with Stieglitz’s protege Paul Strand and Strand’s fiancee Rebecca Salsbury.

Ana Bagayan// Ana Bagayan is a Los Angeles based artist who Emma recently discovered and whom Karah had commission this piece for Emma’s birthday. The piece is significant because Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier is one of Emma’s favorite books and Ana pulled themes from the novel, specifically « last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay again » for inspiration for this piece. She has an excellent Instagram art parody that can be found at @anasdollhouse.

Rodrigo Corral // Rodrigo Corral is one of the most sought-after art directors in the book business and has designed a number of our favorite book covers. He is currently the Creative Director at Farrar Straus & Giroux & the Creative Director at Large at New Directions. Once you see a Corral cover you never go back… this is a cover he did for Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X trilogy.

Julian Wasser// Julian Wasser is an incredible photographer who took many iconic American photos of the second half of the 20th Century. We had to choose one of our working inspirations for Belletrist, Joan Didion leaning on a Corvette. It’s a photo we go back to time and time again…

Leanne Shapton // Leanne Shapton is a New York based author and artist who recently released a truly awesome book called Guest Book, which is a series of vignettes and images that create a book of past selves. A brief excerpt reads: “He told me twice about the visitation, once soon after it happened and then again something like thirteen years later. The first time he told me, we were outside and it was cold and I didn’t listen very well. I think I thought to myself: Huh, that’s weird.”

Eve Babitz// Eve Babitz is a writer who we have featured heavily on Belletrist. We chose her book Sex & Rage as one of our picks of the month. We are close with the author Lili Anolik who wrote the single most comprehensive look at Eve’s life called Hollywood’s Eve (which came out recently) whose title is a play on one of Eve’s books, Eve’s Hollywood. What many people don’t know, however, is that Eve was responsible for designing and creating many of the iconic vinyl covers for iconic musicians such as Buffalo Springfield, Linda Ronstadt & The Byrds. Eve was also photographed by Julian Wasser in the famous photo “Duchamp Playing Chess With A Nude”

This was the last piece chosen by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss of Belletrist for their TAKE OVER. Thank you again Emma and Karah, we really appreciate you taking the time to put this day together.


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