We wrote before about new trend of making art statements and sculptures out of used books (see our Part 1). Some readers complained that they abhor the idea of cutting up books, no matter what value the book might still have or what's printed inside. Others suggested quite the opposite: why not donate some used bookstore's inventory to the artists (and even freely ship it to them).
Without entering this discussion, let us just say that most original art requires an unusual media of expression - and be glad it's not your run-of-the-mill Twitter messages that make it into a work of art... yet.
Books being transformed back into trees... sort of
We'll start with the book sculptures by Jacqueline Rush Lee, one of the most original "book transformer". When you see a bunch of old books compressed into a sliced tree trunk object, you can't help but wonder how long a tree had to grow to provide the paper for any of these books....
And then cube slice is even more impersonal and unnatural shape, more suitable to recycling (you can say these books were "recycled" into art) -
These installations also seem to explore the idea of sheer paper mass that went into making all these books. Here is the amorphous, almost crawling mass of encyclopedia's pages:
And then there are book remnants and textures, such as these:
Jacqueline writes to us: "I am a sculptor who has been transforming books for over ten years now. I do all sorts of things to books: I’ve petrifyied them in kilns (Ex Libris on my site), screwed them together and made them into geometric forms (Volumes), extracted the dyes to make a large-scale fresco (Epic), and hand-painted them with ink and manipulated the forms (Devotion Series)."
Cara Barer shows us how an open book can look like a monster, or something dancing in the air:
A Good Potboiler: what makes a book tick -
Study the inner workings of a plot and characterization in this incredibly open and visual way: books dissected and enhanced by mixed media - designed by Brian Dettmer.
Some call it "Book Autopsies"; I'd call it "hack writing, with 3D illustrations". The anatomical "content" looks especially interesting:
Other work from Brian Dettmer includes some kind of fossil formations, with books revealed in them:
Scalpel Art has to be even more precise... But the book itself is basically trashed. Georgia Russell is responsible for this irresistible "carnage":
It feels like these books have to be contained, otherwise they would explode in streams of wild tangle all over the room:
Aaron Packer in his gallery shows this wonderful book sculpture:
Mike Stilkey has been featured before on our site... his whimsical book figures (maybe pulp fiction heroes?) are great addition to someone's collection or library:
But even he gets overwhelmed sometimes by the sheer amount of used books:
The Color-Coded Bookstore
This definitely would not be practical on permanent basis (how would you find any book there on your own?) - but as a one time art project, local San Francisco artist Chris Cobb arranged all 20,000 books inside the Adobe Store by color! Read more info, and an interview with Chris:
Rainbow covers are supposed to bring joy into your head, and thus enhance the message of books - with unexpected happiness.
Book furniture made from books? Isn't it like a wine glass made from wine?
Chris Cobb did not re-design the shelving, but other artists have very cool ideas about how book shelves should look:
And there is a whole other subject of sculptures created for libraries - not made out of books, but designed to co-exist with books - such as this incredible "Eternity" sculpture in the library of monastery Melk, Austria:
"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"
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