Book Sculptor or Book Surgeon?

Dettmer01 If you thought Jonathan Safran Foer liked to cut up books, then prepare to be delighted by the work of Chicago-based artist Brian Dettmer, who crafts old encyclopedias, medical journals, and dictionaries into completely original sculptures. But according to Dettmer's website, he only manipulates the books, never adding new elements.

I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

More photos of Dettmer's work after the jump.


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Comments (20)

Amazing art!these are just most beautiful art i have seen

Posted by: april | Wednesday March 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

We’ve already seen artists make magic out of materials like paper, cardboard and even toilet paper rolls. One related creative trend we’ve been seeing lately is that of book sculptures. (We wonder if it has to do with the speedy demise of print as artists try to find new ways of engaging with these analog cultural artifacts whose core function digital platforms are deeming obsolete.)

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In most cases, I agree with the published cover. A Gate at the Stairs, though. Eh, the crayons aren't great, but they're better than the real cover.

Posted by: Jordan Space Jams | Wednesday June 8, 2011 at 2:47 AM

My gosh, I make subsurface geology maps and can visualize in 3D, but some of these are mind boggling. How do you look at a book and see something like some of these. I'll never look at and old illustrated book the same again.

Posted by: Gaylon | Sunday March 6, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Amazing!

Posted by: Adam | Saturday March 5, 2011 at 12:01 AM

That's just about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Genius.

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Amazing Art!

Posted by: Steven | Thursday March 3, 2011 at 5:14 AM

Wow this is so awesome !!!

Posted by: גמילה מסמים | Thursday March 3, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Normally, I'm not in favor of defacing books. But, good God, those are impressive works of art!

Posted by: David Abrams | Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Heavens, that's impressive.

Posted by: Ben | Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 12:52 PM

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