I was searching the internet for this assignment, and I’ve come to the conclusion that very little of what I found will serve as inspiration this semester. For a very simple reason: I can’t match any of this stuff. I found a lot of images of beautiful, awe-inspiring pieces of art. One artist who stuck out in particular was Brian Dettmer. He creates amazing sculptures out of books (sometimes multiple books in one piece) using a myriad of different techniques. My favorite of Dettmer works were created by slicing pages into layers so that particular words stuck out.
I think this book art, like a ton of others I found, looks really cool, but I can’t help but think that these are no longer books. It’s this thought that keeps me from wanting to emulate such work. While the source was a book, to me, this is now a sculpture. I’m not interested in being a sculptor. I’m sure that someone who works in a marble quarry doesn’t consider themselves a sculptor, no matter how much they might appreciate the art form. For lack of a better metaphor, I want to work in a book quarry.
I enjoy the utilitarian nature of books, and that they are vessels that hold information. You certainly wouldn’t throw any of these pieces of art in a bag to take to the beach, and these are no longer just containers. They are now the art itself. So, while I find these works aesthetically pleasing and wonderful, I don’t think that I will be striving to emulate any of them.