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Good Books: Andrew Kuo's What Me Worry

In his endearingly nerdy and often compulsive works, artist Andrew Kuo makes a brilliant career of sweating the small stuff.

Can the stuff that keeps you awake at night—bedbugs, loneliness, the New York Knicks—morph into something beautiful? It sure can in the capable hands (and quirky brain) of Andrew Kuo, an artist who renders the mundane into gorgeous, color-saturated infographics, messy/cute paintings, and simple sculptures that minimalist Donald Judd might have fashioned had he been into bright colors, Top Chef, and Dinosaur, Jr. They're all collected in a new monograph, What Me Worry.

Kuo's musings are undeserving of the glorious graphic treatment they receive and that's kind of the point. To wit, the beautiful "My Ideal Slacker Tuesday on March 27, 2008" lists such bold undertakings as sleeping, checking "amusing emails," and eating "Chinese food with no less than three people and no more than four. No one complains or pays more than $12."

Another piece called "See Ya Later! And/Or Ways to Check Out on March 21, 2009" offers a sort of Top 10 list of ways to say sayonora: "Stroking out after a six-course Chinese food dinner prepared by Julia Child" or "Falling off the stage at MSG while performing emotional minimal techno." Then there's "Drinking as of August 24, 2006 (Tears Running Face)" which color-correlates the relative benefits of Vitamin Water after a night of tequila.

Kuo is an endearingly pathetic art and music nerd, long on time, short on female companionship. Lucky us that he transforms all that heartbreak, post-night out headaches, and anxiety into visual awesomeness.

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