San Francisco based artist Alexis Arnold has found a way to preserve her favorite old books as timeless treasures. Her crystallized book series turns books into stunning, mystical sculptures using laundry detergent to grow crystals on the various objects.
“The Crystallized Book Series addresses the materiality versus the text or content of a book. The crystals remove the text and solidify the books into aesthetic, non-functional objects. The books, frozen with heavy crystal growth, have become artifacts or geologic specimens imbued with the history of time, use, and memory.” Alexis Arnold
Dutch illustrator/designer/artist Louis Reith produces work with a multimedia focus. His portfolio is equally full of sculptural pieces, mixed media collage and more traditional inks on paper – he can pretty much turn his hand to everything.
While communication is his primary aim in his graphic work, in his drawings, collages and sculptures Reith seeks tranquility. Through typographic forms on old book pages and the use of maps, Reith creates a world of mountain landscapes and suggestive abstract forms.
Blocky skylines made from stacked books dominate one side of the gallery in Chinese artist Ji Zhou‘s new show at Klein Sun Gallery and first U.S. solo show, Civilized Landscape, while crinkled maps become mountain ranges on the other.
“My concerns lie in why more and more cities are becoming visually identical and boring in their cityscapes.”
Ji Zhou specializes in capturing ephemeral ideas and moments in beautifully composed photographs. For example, after a fire in his Beijing studio coated it in ash, he responded with Dust (2010), a photo series in which every surface is colored with monochrome, ashy grey. In Civilized Landscape, he responds to the construct of civilization as a whole.
The “Maps” portion was improvised and sculpted straight from Zhou’s imagination, while the “Maquette” cityscapes are the result of meticulous planning. Zhou sees books as “channels to receive and accumulate knowledge,” while maps are two dimensional repositories of information: “My opinions on cities and civilization mainly comes from books I’ve read,” he says, “Associating maps with landscapes is almost an innate relationship to me, a theory probably be caused by my teenage dreams about the world.”
With the new school year finally underway, it’s time to give some well deserved attention to your Visual Education department. For the first time ever, Upper Playground is making its entire book catalog on sale for the first week of October. Don’t be tardy, many of these titles are down to the last few copies. This 25% off sale ends at midnight on October 7th. Use promo code: Bookshelf25
Old friend Tiffany Bozic has a new book out via Gingko Press, Drawn By Instinct. To kick off the release, she will be giving a lecture on her career at the SF Public Library on Tuesday September 4th at 6:00pm. We definitely recommend checking it out.
Something for the inspiration and coffee table… The Furniture of Charles & Ray Eames. “A hardcover book created by Vitra which looks to commemorate the 100th birthday (1907 – 2007) of Charles Eames and is entitled “The Furniture of Charles & Ray Eames.
“This volume primarily focuses on their furniture design and is grouped into categories based on materials such as plywood, plastic, wire and aluminium, all of the Eames designs produced by Vitra are presented in great detail.
“The book also showcases reproductions of vintage photographs and documents which are accompanied by explanatory texts providing in-depth information on the historical background and distinctive structural features of the furniture designs.”
Steve Jobs called The Whole Earth Catalog “one of the bibles of my generation”. He went on to explain in his Stanford commencement speech in 2005, “It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions”.
The Whole Earth Catalog was a kind of “unofficial handbook of the counterculture”. It was, pre-Internet, a way for anyone anywhere to tap into a global economy. Founder and editor Stewart Brand set out to create a catalog- like the then-very-practical-and-universal catalog L.L. Bean- that would showcase all of the great tools of the world to help anyone do things for themselves or learn about big ideas.
Lloyd Kahn was the Shelter editor of the catalog. Kahn, an insurance broker-turned-builder, leveraged his experience with Whole Earth and began to publish his own books. First, he wrote very popular books on dome building. Kahn had become “the spokesman for the counterculture on domes” (his dome home even appeared in Life Magazine), but he took the books out of print when he decided the building style just wasn’t practical and “I didn’t want any more domes on my kharma”.
In 1974 Kahn took down his dome and replaced it with a more traditional handmade home. “Built stud-frame house using recycled lumber, doors, windows,” he writes in his 2004 book Home Work, “Relief somehow to discover old ways can work best.”
Today, Lloyd and his wife Lesley Creed run their own homestead in Bolinas, California where they tend an extensive organic garden and bantam chickens, grind their own wheat, make their own sourdough, spin their own wool, and continue to build their own structures (most recently, a chicken coop with a living roof).
Something about this bizarre building reminds of a Murakami novel. Maybe because we are sleep-deprived from waiting at Green Apple Books to get 1Q84 in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway, this is the “On the Corner” building in Shiga, Japan.
This is a great one from Italian cabinet company Saporiti, who are encouraging one to actually read the books that they put in their read your bookcase. We don’t know about you, though, but it might be hard to read Faulkner coming out of a case like this. It might be better for Dr Seuss.
First off, if you are an art fan, and love art books, Leadapron in West Los Angeles is one of the most tasteful, and beautiful, art bookstores we have ever been in. The Citrus Report went and checked the shop out yesterday, but also to see Purple Fashion Magazine editor, Olivier Zahm’s new photo exhibit, “The Secrets of Photographing Women.” The show is ridiculous in that it shows a fictional world that only Zahm lives in, but in Leadapron, it looks really nice. The show is up until June 12, check it out.
Mainly, just go to Leadapron to see this Warhol print for his 1968 show in Sweden, his first international retrospective.