Yes, that’s a book. Nothing has been added to it, but a brilliant artist has subtracted from it, and in doing so he has rendered the book into a work of art that helps to define it.
Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted, only removed.
Dettmer manipulates the pages and spines to form the shape of his sculptures. He also folds, bends, rolls, and stacks multiple books to create completely original sculptural forms.
I am famous around these parts for treating my books gingerly and having a Gollumesque obsession with protecting my precious’ against spine-breaking, or dog-earred pages or even shelf wear. But this is a brilliant and original use of media to create fascinating art.
You can read an interview with Dettmer here (with more pics!)