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Book Review: An Exquisite Reverie of the Whimsical World of Flowers, Doan Ly's "Still Life" Reimagines Classic Still Life Art Through Visual Storytelling

Capturing the surreal artistry of contemporary still life through the lens, New York City-based (and self-taught) florist and photographer, Doan Ly, tells a captivating tale of floral design in "Still Life". The book immerses readers in Ly's mesmerizing compositions of cascading petals and eccentric props, unveiling a personal narrative that draws inspiration from traditional 16th-century still life paintings, the otherworldly aesthetics of Freakebana, and the intricacy of nature's fleeting beauty.

THE BOOK. Leveraging flowers as "words"—coupled with bespoke styling, playful color palettes, and a signature use of continuous natural light—Ly uses dreamy photography to bring her floral poetry to life. Pages unfurl with spellbinding imagery, captivating the senses with soft atmospheres, voluminous blooms, exotic fruits, and even (seemingly) haphazard placements of socks that mesh effortlessly on the same plane to evoke a new era of still life design. Her work elevates conventional floristry techniques to a form of modern art and reveals an emotional depth that speaks to the curiosity and creativity of flower fans everywhere.

THE RECOMMENDATION. A celebration of visual storytelling at its finest, "Still Life" is a must-have for flower and art enthusiasts of all ages. Readers can appreciate Ly's modern (and uniquely personal) interpretation of classic art styles, and her meticulous eye for photography and floral design is inspiring and evocative. By paying homage to the boundless nature of human ingenuity, Ly's compositions exude beauty while simultaneously reshaping our perceptions of it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Based in the heart of New York City, Doan Ly embodies the role of a self-taught creative visionary. As a designer, photographer, and the owner of a.p. bio, a floral studio bearing a clever nod to Advanced Placement Biology class, Ly blends her diverse skill set into a multidisciplinary craft that fuses the realms of floristry and photography. The vibrant hues and botanical wonders that flow through her studio serve as both inspiration and medium, captivating audiences in-person and across the digital sphere. Ly's floral vignettes—which are a nod to the still life paintings of the Dutch masters—pay tribute to old-school art forms, while her whimsical approach to color and lighting offers a distinctly contemporary touch.

"Still Life" can be purchased in the U.S.A. via the following online retailers: a.p bio studio |  Amazon | Target |  Barnes & Noble | Chronicle Books | Nahcotta | Booktopia

Still Life: Styling and Photography: Doan Ly | Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC | Introduction: Rose Courteau