Every now and then I stumble and obsess over something new: a concept, a publisher or a product of some sort. Most of these discoveries come about by pure chance – a newspaper article perhaps, a tweet or word of mouth.
My latest obsession is book art, or book sculptures to be precise. It started with this page recounting how mysterious paper sculptures were left around Edinburgh literary institutions. The sculptures are beautiful. My obessions was born but it wasn’t until I chanced upon this Telegraph article that I decided that I must have one.
Not only was the article about book sculptures, the artist in question also happened to be Bristol based. Having left the publishing hub of London some time ago I in no way suffer from small-city syndrome, but whenever anything original and book related is happening in Bristol I get extremely excited.
The artist, Alexander Korzer-Robinson, creates his sculptures by working through a book page by page, deliberately cutting out and discarding some of the illustrations. He then brings the book to life through these illustrations. “Thus, an encyclopedia can become a window into an alternate world, much like lived reality becomes its alternate in remembered experience. These books, having been stripped of their utilitarian value by the passage of time, regain new purpose. They are no longer tools to learn about the world, but rather a means to gain insight about oneself.” As a book a lover – not just a lover of words within a book, but an actual lover of the physical object – this is a brilliant concept.
There is something haunting and Victorian about Korzer-Robinson’s work: a strong element of the grotesque summed up perfectly, in my opinion, in some of his earlier work based on Alice in Wonderland. His choice of books and arrangement of illustrations make his work extremely desirable and slightly despicable. It’s weird but I know I will have one hanging on my wall soon. Check out some of his work here.
Do you know of any cool UK based ‘book artist’ doing something similar? I have also come across Su Blackwell who recreates scenes of books and they look superb, and I might decide to invest in one of her pieces eventually. Any further recommendations gratefully received.
Check Matthias Mueller’s excellent Cultural Constellations blog