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Paul Cava, Children of Adam


An illustrated edition of the ‘Children of Adam’ cycle of poems from the American literary masterpiece “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman has just been released. ‘Children of Adam’ is the legendary group of poems that caused the book to be banned in Boston at its publication in 1882. Whitman’s theme was the male and female body, entirely naked in every sense—and he steadfastly resisted any suggestion of censorship.

This boldly illustrated new edition of the poems brings together two visionarys of American culture, both coincidentally natives of Brooklyn, New York: Walt Whitman, the beloved American poet who continues to inspire readers worldwide, and the contemporary artist Paul Cava, born more than a century later in 1949. In this book, John Wood, Arden Kass and Alexander Scholz contribute original and informative essays; technical and scholarly guidance are supplied by noted Whitman scholars Prof. Ed Folsom and Prof. Walter Grünzweig.

The ‘Children of Adam’ cycle from “Leaves of Grass” is a hymn of hope for a young and innocent America. It is an anthem for a democratic America and a free world—as well as an unabashed polemic for a shame-free physical and procreative life. This book presents the controversial cluster of poems in a totally original and honest way—each of the 16 poems stands alone on its beautifully designed page, leaving space for a complex relationship to develop between the sexual and spiritual nuances of the artwork and poetry.

Throughout his oeuvre, Paul Cava’s work celebrates both the universality of human experience and its specificity. Arden Kass writes: “In its reverence for ‘the happy accident’, its quest to transcend the boundaries of time and place, to distill the emotional resonance of an image or a moment, his art, like Whitman’s words, asks us to open ourselves to the grandeur and the depth of feeling within each of us…Cava achieves not only a seamless technical fluidity, but an ability to manipulate imagery and association with a delicacy of touch, a generosity of spirit and a tenderness for the absurdity of our predicament that come only with artistic and personal maturity… Indeed, it is nearly impossible to stand before the naked images in this body of work and not feel naked as well, for in their purity and integrity, in their own vulnerability and humanity, they reach beyond our carefully tended boundaries and touch the part of us that despite its own better judgment, loves and lives for love…”

Today our world is in the midst of terrific and violent upheaval, accompanied by much darkness and negativity. We are all in need of love and kindness, simple ‘native moments’ that all of humanity can share and take nourishment from. With this in our minds and hearts, a team of German and American artists, writers, scholars and designers have come together and worked for more than a year to produce a book that goes beyond the traditional definition. It is an unconventional, visual and sensual expression of hope, manifested in words, image and design and presented in a finely-crafted work of published art. Superior quality printing, highest quality paper and binding further ensure a place in the hearts of book collectors worldwide for this unique collaboration.

Children of Adam

Walt Whitman / Paul Cava
Published by Galerie Vevais
Text english / deutsch,
Limited to 300 copies, signed by Paul Cava
69,00 EUR

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