There really is a lot to be thankful for about lockdown. For many, it has brought us closer together. Others it has made them see what is really valuable in their life. For even more, it has given them time to breathe. It has also been a boon for some companies. One in particular is Laurence King. The lockdowns and Covid environment, has allowed them to create a new edition of their Top Trump card game about art and artists, THE ART GAME. Now this is underselling the game of revolutionary art, creative brilliance and compelling biographic details. For thankfully, as before we have a lot to digest and even more of the best bits of the past have been kept for players to return to.

I remember playing the original version with my art crazy nieces and always the same points were raised. Why are these artists all well known and…well dead. I laughed. Then when this landed on my desk, I found I had an answer. Inside the heavily detailed booklet, which has bios of each creator, is an explanation. These chosen few are here for their contributions and collusions with the art world. They are not solely here because ‘beauty’ dictates. This is important. As we shuffle the cards and deal the first hand, we sense that these agents of artistry are about to invigorate our life.

In my hand is Edward Hopper. A masterful artist of Americana. Also there is David Hockney. On my opponents hand is Yayoi Kusama, Jackson Pollock and Kara Walker. Now some might say that without this book of bios and details, the game would be Top Trumps for the sophisticate at this point but they would be wrong. Its a lot more fun for the art lover, expert and someone like me, fact consumer. We have Warhol, Banksy, Guerilla Girls, Diane Arbus. A wide plethora. We then have the challenge categories. Influence is an obvious one but I liked The random ‘Beautiful factor’ (that word again). The auction price is a nod to our societies desire to value everything. Now yes, the issue of the end of a game, where the probing and pointing goes on because everyone cant all have rubbish figures. But the game is not for this in truth. It is not to be played it is to enrich our outlook on the magic of creativity. Lockdown has taught me this.

The Art Game written by James Cahill & Holly Black and illustrated by Mikkel Sommer. Released 4th March 2021, available

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