Tag Archives: books

A Library That Plummets into an Abyss by Susanna Hesselberg for Sculpture by the Sea

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Susanna Hesselberg, “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down” (2015) / Photo by Claire Voon for Hyperallergic

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For her entry into the biannual Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark, Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg installed this ominous library that plumments into the ground like a mining shaft. While visually arresting, the piece has a somewhat somber intention. Titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,” the artwork makes reference to lyrics from Laurie Anderson’s song World Without End. The piece joins an additional 55 sculptures on display right now at the 2015 Sculpture by the Sea through July 5, 2015. (via Hyperallergic)

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Bird Portraits Painted On Secondhand Books Featuring Their Native Brazilian Habitats Carved from the Pages

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Guy Laramée‘s (previously) new series Onde Elles Moran (Where They Live) captures the mystique of the native birds of the Brazilian region Serra do Corvo Branco (Range of the White Raven) through both portrait and carved landscape. The series contains nine sculptures sourced from secondhand bookstores within the country—tomes of the Classicos Jackson which is a series of literature classics published in the ‘50s in Brazil. The rich linen covers inspired the palettes of many of the portraits, the original colors working their way into Laramée’s artistic remodeling.

Although Laramée had originally planned to photograph the vast canyons of the region during his 4-month visit, the diversity, songs, and liveliness of the native birds kept persuading him to eclipse the beautiful scenes with their portraits. The series is dedicated to these birds and their habitat, each book containing a portrait of one on the cover against a faded background and an environmental carving into the pages of the book on the opposite side. The size ratio of the bird to corresponding landscape highlights the creatures’ importance, acknowledging their role as the true owners and rulers of the region.

“Being in the company of these lively beings were one thing, painting them was another story,” explained Laramée while discussing his process. “They became like ghosts on a theater backdrop, posing in front of wallpaper, looking at a vanishing scenery.”

Laramée hopes that this series exudes the stark differences between Man and bird, recognizing that we do not live within the same world. Man’s world has been transformed into an object from which we now feel alienated he explains—we live within our heads and books, not the canyons or earth. “Maybe where they live is where we should live,” says Laramée. “In the solitude of virgin landscapes, we might rediscover our intimate relationships to the world.”

Laramée is represented by JHB Gallery in New York City.

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Simon Stålenhag’s Retro Sci-Fi Images of a Dystopian Swedish Countryside Published In Two New Books

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Across the backdrop of an expansive retro-Scandinavian landscape, Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag has spent the last few years imagining a world of science fiction inhabited by roaming mech robots, dinosaurs, and other technological innovations plopped right onto the Swedish countryside. The digitally painted images spread far and wide across the internet over the last few years, capturing the imagination of legions of fantasy and sci-fi fans who clamoured for comic books and even a feature film. For now, we’ll have to make do with old-fashioned art books.

Stålenhag and Free League Publishing just announced a Kickstarter project for two new books featuring Stålenhag’s dystopian vision of the future that will pair illustrations with short stories written in English. You can explore many more illustrations on his website (just start scrolling), and some are available as individual prints.

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Book Conservator Nobuo Okano Repairs Tattered Books to Make Them Look Brand New

For the past 33 years Japanese craftsman Okano Nobuo has been repairing tattered books and reconstituting them to look brand new. When a customer brought in an old Japanese-English dictionary that looked like it had been through a few wars, Okano approached it like an art conservationist repairing a painting. Using very basic tools like a wooden press, chisel, water and glue, Okano reconstituted the book to make it look like it was just purchased.

The tedious job required Okano to take each page—all 1000 of them—and flatten out all the creases with tweezers and an iron. But not everything is repaired. Okano makes some things disappear, like the initials of an old girlfriend. And much like the way a sculptor removes pieces to improve on it, Okano applies a subtractive process to bring the book back to life.

Once the job was done the book was returned to the customer, who presented it to his daughter as she was on her way to college. “It’s not their shape or form but what’s inside them that attracts us to books,” says Okano. For a man who makes it his job to repair the shape and form of books it’s an incredibly humbling statement and is a testament to the value we still hold in physical books. (via Reddit)

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Intimate Portraits of 50 Artists and Their Cats Compiled by Alison Nastasi

Henri Matisse/© Robert  Capa /© International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos

Henri Matisse/ © Robert Capa / © International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cat/ James van der Zee /1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Cat/ James van der Zee / 1982

John Cage/ Courtesy of the John Cage Trust

John Cage/ Courtesy of the John Cage Trust

Herbert Tobias / Photograph by Peter Fuerst; @ 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Herbert Tobias / Photograph by Peter Fuerst; @ 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Georgia O'Keeffe / Photograph by John  Candelario / Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives

Georgia O’Keeffe / Photograph by John Candelario / Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives

Pablo Picasso / Photograph by Carlos Nadal, 1960; © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Pablo Picasso / Photograph by Carlos Nadal, 1960; © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol 1 / © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Andy Warhol 1 / © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Maya Lin / © Michael Katakis / The British Library

Maya Lin / © Michael Katakis / The British Library

Artists and Their Cats from Chronicle Books, edited by Alison Nastasi

Artists and Their Cats from Chronicle Books, edited by Alison Nastasi

Although many have been considered an artist’s muse, none have served as repeatedly as the common feline. Often basking directly beside our world’s famous artists, cats have consistently served as creative companion and confidant. New from Chronicle Books is Artists and Their Cats, a collection of intimate portraits featuring many of the past century’s most recognizable artists and their feline counterparts.

Editor Alison Nastasi writes in the book’s introduction, “Many artists buck notions of a stereotypical temperament, but researchers have long speculated that creative individuals share common attributes—which mirror those of cats.” More than 50 pairs are highlighted throughout the book—cats perched on laps, desks, and even atop heads. Included in the cat compendium is everyone from Basquiat to Matisse with images of Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe in-between. Salvador Dali himself graces the cover with cane and noted Colombian ocelot Babou. Artists and Their Cats is now available in the Colossal Shop.

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Old Books Transformed into Imaginative 3D Illustrations of Fairy Tale Scenes

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Seattle-based artist Isobelle Ouzman creates 3D illustrations from discarded books found in dumpsters, recycling bins, and local thrift stores. She adopts these forgotten books as a way to give them a second life, cutting and pasting the books into layered fairy tale scenes instead of letting the novels collect dust or fall prey to the elements.

Ouzman creates her whimsical and monochromatic environments with an X-Acto knife, glue, watercolors and Micron pens. Each work focuses on plants and animals, several layers of winding forestry surrounding her central characters.

Each book can take between two and three months to complete, which is why Ouzman is currently on hold with commissions until October. To submit a commission for her found book illustrations contact her here, or browse the books on her Etsy site. (via Lustik)

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A 1979 Ford Falcon Converted into a Tank Armored with 900 Free Books

In celebration of World Book Day (today!) 7UP commissioned Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff to construct one of his famous book tanks. In this case he began with a stripped down 1979 Ford Falcon which he used to build a new roving library on wheels with an exterior framework capable of carrying 900 free books. Lemesoff refers to his militaristic bibliothecas as Weapons of Mass Instruction, and he drives them around the streets of Argentina giving free books to anyone who wants one, as long as they promise to read it. Watch the video above to see it all come together. (via Designboom)

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