Friday, June 6, 2008

Book Autopsies by Brian Dettmer

Ever find something that makes you regret not knowing about it sooner because in some esoteric, inexplicable way it makes your life better? I’m feeling exactly that way upon the discovery of artist Brian Dettmer’s amazing, amazing work. With surgical tools, tweezers and steady hands, Dettmer approaches old books like an experimental 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 — either that or a super diorama built by the class overacheiver. Working exclusively with old tomes like dictionaries, encylopedias and medical textbooks, Dettmer’s doing a 21st-century mash-up by deriving new meanings from the outdated images and words he’s left exposed, and that are now linked together visually or ideally so as a whole they’re relevant to today. Pretty brilliant, huh?

- Josh Spear

Trot on over to the sites of the galleries he’s represented by — Aron Packer and Centripetal Notion — for more photos from this talented book technician.

(text & image via: Josh Spear)

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