Working with Old Books

About 5-6 years ago, I got bogged down in doing some administrative work at the school where I was teaching at the time.

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As a result, I had less time and energy for my studio than I would have liked.

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I had a backlog of pictures I’d made over the previous years, and decided they were perfect for some experimentation.

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I made a series of nude photographs working with three different models over a period of about 18 months.  I liked the pictures, but they didn’t necessarily fit anywhere into the other projects I’d pursued around that time.  I decided to use these for some new experiments, work that can happen quickly because of my restraints.

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I love books, really always have, and have spent  a number of years looking for ways to explore ways of making books for my photographs.

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I started collecting books from used bookstores, thrift stores, libraries and the likes.  I’d rip them apart, and find ways to make new books using the pieces I’d salvaged paired with my photographs.

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Sometimes I’d use single pages or images torn from these old books, and sometimes I’d glue them open – using bathtub chalking to steel the spines – so my pictures would read on a book splayed open for display.

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I mostly worked with these nude photographs, but also used pictures leftover from other projects, particularly pictures I’d made of my family.

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I made hundreds of these collages in a pretty short period of time.

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I’ve finally gotten some of these collages scanned.

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