BEAUTIFUL BEYOND WORDS

Ever wonder what will happen to old reference books in the information age? Brian Dettmer has. So much so that he has decided to focus his life work as an artist to resurrecting their pages and creating something entirely new and breathtakingly wonderful.

Brian takes old books like encyclopaedias and dictionaries and turns them into beautiful sculptures, breathing new life into once important tools, now considered largely obsolete.

Using varnish, knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian carves into formations created from old books, leaving everything where it is. His work is not a collage in the sense that he has rearranged the images in his work, but more closely resembles an archaeological dig.

As he puts it himself in his TED talk: “I think of my work as archaeology, I’m excavating and I’m trying to maximise the potential and discover as much as I can and I expose it within my own work.” (Click on the link below to watch his talk.)

Here are some of his standout pieces:

Wagnalls Wheel, 2010, altered set of encyclopaedias

Wagnalls Wheel, 2010, altered set of encyclopaedias

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Mound 2, 2008, hardcover book

 

The Household Physicians, 2008, altered books

The Household Physicians, 2008, altered books

Prevent Horizon, 2008, altered books

Prevent Horizon, 2008, altered books

New Universal, 2007, hardcover book

New Universal, 2007, hardcover book

New Book of Knowledge, 2009, hardcover books

New Book of Knowledge, 2009, hardcover books

Webs New Inner Diction, 2007, hardcover book

Webs New Inner Diction, 2007, hardcover book

 

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