‘By accident Wes Anderson’ E book Celebrates Journey and Journey – ARTnews.com
Little did they know when Wally Koval and his wife Amanda opened a travel Instagram account in 2017 that they would one day create a fan base of over a million. The account, named “Accidentally Wes Anderson” was founded as a platform for learning about notable but lesser-known websites around the world and has grown into what Koval calls the “Community”. It displays elaborate images of visually striking buildings, interiors, transportation systems, and landscapes reminiscent of those featured in Wes Anderson films like The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom, but are actually just structures discovered around the world were.
The Instagram account presents these photos, taken by people all over the world, with historical information on their subjects. A picture of the Olympic National Park in Washington is accompanied by a caption providing background information on its creation in the 1930s and some of the ecosystems it contains, while a post on the towering and ornate roof of the Great Market Hall in Budapest details the Origins includes the market, its design and how it works today.
After creating a digital space for this type of storytelling, Koval set out to curate a printed collection of places that are remarkable not only for their looks but also for the unexpected or overlooked stories that come with them. The result of this project is the new book Accidentally Wes Anderson (Voracious), which shows rich, colorful images of more than 200 spots from all continents.
Most of the photos in the publication were not posted through the appropriate Instagram account, and the Kovals rated approximately 15,000 submissions for inclusion in the book. To shrink the large group of images, they examined possible entries to see if there was a compelling story to tell. As with Instagram, each image in the book is paired with a description written by the Kovals that gives readers a sense of the importance of a place.
In an interview with ARTnews, Koval, who has experience in content marketing, said that the book is supposed to bring a little lighthearted joy and joy into people’s lives, a particularly topical goal given the political, social and public health crises that hit the headlines Dominates much of this year.
“The goal is to inspire you a little,” he said. “Maybe it’s for travel, or maybe it’s just a quick getaway, or maybe you need a brief moment of joy.”
The white cyclone in Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, Japan, approx. 1994–2018.
Photo by Paul Hiller
The book begins with a foreword by Anderson himself, who partly writes: “I plan not to miss any of these experiences, especially the Croatian pancakes.” It brings together an auspicious group of well-known places like Hearst Castle in California or the Albertina Museum in Vienna as well as places that may be unknown to some, including a famous photo booth in Florence and a novel cinema in Mumbai. Regardless of the fame of a particular location, the specifics of each featured location are fascinating – one entry traces the rise of Perth’s Crawley Edge Boatshed to an international tourist attraction and another looks at the intricate construction of the White Cyclone wooden roller coaster at Nagashima Spa Land in Kuwana, Japan .
Koval said that aside from visually pleasing symmetries and color palettes, Anderson’s aesthetic is characterized by an appreciation for the beauty of the spaces we live in every day and the stories behind them. He believes the new book will accidentally widen Wes Anderson’s audience, and the next iteration of the project will be a website with a searchable database.
“We tell these stories in a way that leaves you with a smile,” said Koval. “And you don’t usually get that today.”