Monday, September 29, 2008

Art Books or Book Art?

While shopping in Anthropologie today, Rachel and I stumbled upon the incredible world of Book Art! It began with ingenious decorating ideas, and a Google search soon turned up really fascinating artwork created by manipulating books.

Artist Su Blackwell makes "Book Cut" sculpture. Shown below: The Secret Garden, 2006.

Brian Dettmer creates "Book Autopsies", which he enhances with mixed media.

Scottish artist Georgia Russell is responsible for the next image. To me, it is like a car wreck. I'm so fascinated yet utterly disgusted. (I have a very difficult time looking at finely shredded things, or tiny holes.) Russell uses a scalpel to cut book jackets, texts, record covers, maps, photos, you name it.

One of my favorite examples of book art was installed by San Francisco artist Chris Cobb. He organized all 20,000 books in his friend's bookstore according to color. (The link is to an interview on McSweeny's where Cobb discusses different pieces. He made sculptures out of mashed potatoes. It reminds me of the time I made a bust of George Washington out of masking tape in the sixth grade...)

What did we learn today, class? Books are good for more than just reading, bonfires, and self-defense. Let's hope this doesn't close the chapter on literary art.


Rachel said...

Gorgeous! I love it! If anyone needs me, I'll be scouring used bookstores for my new creations.

Mari said...

My friend has her books like this. Such an amazing esthetic.

Melissa said...

The whole color arranging thing pisses me off. Not the actual color arranging piece - that is entirely beautiful. But the act of having to put the books back into place... god that pisses me off. YUCK. 20,000 books - fuck that. I have no idea why I'm feeling anxiety over this, but it just bothers the hell out of me. Like my hands are getting sweaty or something. I think it is reminding me of the time my brother knocked over my dominos when I was 8. PISSED.