One of my favorite magazines, Somerset Studio
, ran an article on Brian Dettmer in its July/August 2008 edition. Brian is an artist who carves books, such as the one pictured above, into what are called intricately-detailed altered book sculptures.
Those of us who love to read, love books. Slicing and dicing them seems like sacrilege. Yes, I had a really difficult time with this art form, but it is so beautiful.
Dettmer seals, then cuts into old dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, science and engineering books, art books, medical guides, history books, atlases, comic books, and wallpaper sample books. With surgical tools, tweezers and steady hands, Dettmer approaches old books like a surgeon, meticulously slicing and cutting around illustrations and words inside the book’s body, removing parts of thin paper skin until what’s left looks like the book’s skeleton.
Recently, Dettmer has expanded his artistic process with folding, bending, or rolling one or more books before sealing and cutting them.
Brian had a twinge of guilt in the beginning, when he cut into a book, for the same reasons I think we all would. He says we feel guilty because we equate the physical book with the information contained inside it and that libraries and bookstores routinely discard large numbers of books. He uses those
books to create this amazing art form.
Could I cut into a book? I don't know, but I'd love a book Brian's cut into.
You can see more of Brian's sculpture at:Kinz, Tillou + FeigenPacker Schopf GalleryToomey Tourell