Artist Brian Dettmer reads books in a way that is likely different from your own — a way that involves the use of an X-acto knife. A book sculptor, Dettmer’s process begins with an ordinary book. He seals its edges and cuts into its surface with a variety of precise surgical tools, isolating particular words or images. He dissects the book, layer by layer, until its original form has been entirely transformed into something new: a three-dimensional piece of art that exposes its innermost elements for public display and admiration.
What remains forms the art here, as Dettmer’s process allows only for removal, and not for the addition or alteration of any content. As he explains on his website:
“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.”
Among various other exhibitions worldwide, Dettmer’s altered books can currently be seen through 6/24/12 in New York at the Christopher Henry Gallery, as part of the “A Cut Above” exhibition.
See on briandettmer.com