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Life, Art and Clutter

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Life, Art and Clutter

Ad Guru and Award-Winning Fine Art Photographer Pens Quick Beach Read About Life, Art and Clutter…

In a world of instant gratification, who wants to read a long-winded book? In The Sultan of Garbage (Atmosphere Press; August 13, 2024; Paperback; ISBN: 979-8-89132-280-6), award-winning fine art photographer, advertising writer (from Nissan to Pepsi) and author Brian Belefant draws readers into his 82-page novella about a disillusioned middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with trash and hatches a daring plan to escape his clutter. Told through the eyes of Alex Jamieson, a moderately successful product photographer who winds up alone on a massive island of junk in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this snarky, wistful, philosophical story will resonate with anyone who’s ever wondered how their once-promising life—and pretty much the whole world—got so messed up.

Once upon a time, when he was a young student in Italy, Alex flirted with becoming an artist. After returning to the USA and reality, he built a career as a commercial photographer, shooting houses, cars, breakfast cereals, fish bowls and other objects for sale.

He found a business partner, Tony, who secured funding for a studio. As Alex reflects, his work wasn’t glamorous—he never got to shoot gorgeous swimsuit models or go on location to Paris, London or Belize. Yet he remembered the lessons his mentor, Janusz, had imparted about lighting and observation and more, which made his work not only better but also satisfying.

After 10 years, Tony sold the studio and handed Alex a big fat check. Now Alex is a millionaire with a condo in Los Angeles and a beautiful live-in girlfriend, Grace, who always seems to have a headache or a backache, sleeps through all kinds of noise, and rarely likes to be touched. Alex is frustrated and uninspired—until he stumbles across the existence of an artificial floating marvel (or atrocity) called the Pacific Garbage Patch. Why not charter a yacht to go out and explore it?

What happens in The Sultan of Garbage is ridiculous, fascinating and profound.

Throughout, Alex shares his thoughts (which he tends to say out loud, even if no one is listening) on subjects from photography (“Anybody can snap a photo, but it takes an artist’s eye and a craftsman’s training to create a photograph.”) to odd facts about names of places and products (like pilchards and canola oil) to trash. With Brian Belefant’s gift for vivid, funny writing, readers will stick with Alex on his quest until the bitter end.

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