They’re books—only changed. Carved, warped, fired like pottery, they are books transformed into visual art, but still they’re books. Book art is intimate, fascinating, and transgressive. When we talk about books, we are usually talking about what’s inside, but there is a lot more to a book than reading it. Book art makes those other aspects its domain: the way books look; the way that, with their bent spines and marginalia, they record the history of our own reading lives; the way that these mass-produced objects can seem to hold not just letters but knowledge. 2
Book Autopsies by Brian DettmerBrian Dettmer carves into books revealing the artwork inside. Brian Dettmer, born in 1974, was raised in Naperville, Illinois. Until 2006, Dettmer lived in and around Chicago, where he earned a BA in fine arts from Columbia College Chicago in 1997. During school and following graduation, Dettmer worked as an artist and in positions related to graphics and signage design. In 2006, Dettmer moved with his wife to Atlanta, where he works as a studio artist. In college, Dettmer focused primarily on painting. When he began to work in a sign shop, his work began to explore the relationship between text, images, language, and codes, including paintings based on braille, Morse Code, and American Sign Language. He then began to make work by repeatedly pasting newspapers and book pages to canvas and tearing off pieces, leaving behind layered fragments. In 2000, Dettmer started to experiment by gluing and cutting into books, the medium for which he is now most known.Dettmer's current work involves the alteration of media to transform the physical form and/or to selectively remove and reveal content to create new works of fine art. 3
An early example of Dettmer's unique altered books is his 2003 work, New International Dictionary (pictured at right), which is an original 1947 unabridged dictionary sealed and carved by Dettmer to expose images within the dictionary. 4
A large body of Dettmer's current work is created by altering books, including older dictionaries, encyclopaedias, textbooks, science and engineering books, art books, medical guides, history books, atlases, comic books, wallpaper sample books, and others. 5
Dettmer seals and cuts into the books, exposing select images and text to create intricate three-dimensional derivative works that reveal new or alternative interpretations of the books. Dettmer never inserts or moves any of the books' contents. As he cuts away unwanted material, Dettmer stabilizes the remaining paper with a varnish. 6
25 Tom Bendsten is a Canadian visual artist. His work consists mainly of installations, films, sculpture, etc.Some famous works of his are his "Conversations" and his "Arguments" which use books as both physical building material and subject matter.
26 Argument #6(b) is shown here. These tend to be monumental in size, large breath-taking architectural works. In these works, the textural (as opposed to textual) qualities of the books themselves, and the way that light falls on them, help to create much of the beauty.
27 (interior detail) Books organized by colour rather then history. 360 degree landscape panorama.
28 Functional library arranged by color over subject. Titles thrown into chaotic relationships.
30 ook shredded, rolled into cigarette papers. Used books I read while at graduate school.
Robert The: in the space between words and meaning Book Sculptures by Robert TheThis talented artist was born in Carmel, California, 1961. Studied philosophy and mathematics, University of Wisconsin, Madison 1979 - 1984. Institute of Lettering and Design, Chicago 1986-88. Began making book pieces in 1991.. You think that books are just for reading? It turns out that many people think different. 31
Robert The’s story is particularly interesting and began with a breakdown while in school double-majoring in philosophy and math: I kinda blew a fuse in my senior year—something very strange happened—and I lost my ability to read for a period of a month or two. This sharpened my interest regarding what was actually going on with the symbols that convey meaning on a concrete level. The’s works “seem to elongate that infinitesimal moment between focusing on the word and reading it.” 34
CARA BARER: PHOTOGRAPHING BOOKS ON THE EDGE Texas artist Cara Barer’s epiphany came when she saw a rain-soaked Yellow Pages lying on the ground. She photographed its intricately bent pages and soon moved on to dictionaries, software handbooks—anything with pages might become the basis for her carefully posed, elegantly whimsical images. Barer’s photographs consist almost exclusively of the edges of pages, fantastic arabesques of white or color against a studio portrait–like black background. Pages crinkle, curl and twirl, spines do backbends, the pages of two different volumes touch like delicate tentacles reaching out in a mating dance. In each work, it is the flexibility of paper itself, stiff, soft, and strong, that we notice. 38
Book Sculptures by Su BlackwellThis remarkable artist employs this delicate, accessible medium and uses irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions. ...the work of artist Su Blackwell, whose 2D and 3D paper “book” sculptures create a surreal and magical backdrop for the winter jewellery spreads. 44
(***There is a fantastic video of how this pencil tree was made on this site, if you are interested ,Go to the site & click on the same image as above & the video will come up....*** Trinity) http://www.kylebean.co.uk/portfolio 56
Book Art by Georgia RussellScottish artist who uses a scalpel instead of a brush or a pen, creating constructions that transform found ephemera, such as books, music scores, maps, newspapers, currency and photographs 57