Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Books as Objects

It seems to me that sculpting books into art is a somewhat newish trend in the art world. Given some people's reverence for "the book," this trend would seem almost sacrilegious. However, there are so many old, unwanted, worn, dirty books going into landfills, that to me this use of books seems like a creative, if provocative solution to dealing with the piles of paper an information society produces.

Check out the book sculptures below and see what you think.

Jonathan Callan is a British artist whose work as been featured recently on the Rag and Bone blog. The color and form of some pieces are very organic, reminding me of tree rings. Other pieces are more surrealistic. The piece below suggests to me some of the more difficult books we've read in Readers Roundtable.

You can see more of Callan's work on London's Houldworth Gallery website.

Jim Rosenau is a Berkeley artist who describes his work as "funny and functional art made from vintage books." To appreciate the wit of his pieces, look closely at the titles of the books and consider how they relate to each other as well as to any other objects he incorporates into the sculpture.

Finally, Brian Dettmer cuts the book cover so it frames the contents of the book. Then he painstakingly sculpts down through the pages inside (without actually cutting out the pages) to reveal the various pictures and text contained within.

Check out his work at the Aron Packer Gallery website. He also works with maps and cassette tapes. I love the name of his show: Altered States (explorations in media modification).

Thanks Reference Librarian Pam for turning me on to Rosenau's and Dettmer's works.

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