Book art by Brian Dettmer
If you think cutting up books can only be a destructive process, then you have never encountered the art of Brian Dettmer. Dettmer uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve out books one page at a time to create these works of art. (Pics)
Dettmer creates his masterpieces by bending the book into an position that fans out the pages to some extent, then he cuts away parts of each page one at a time to reveal the hidden artwork within. It’s kind of like an X-ray that makes you a voyeur looking inside the book without actually opening it. Some of his more recent work combines several books glued together, often multiple volumes of a set to provide a sense of continuity across the piece.
Dettmer stresses that he never adds any material of his own, he just cuts away parts of the binding and pages to reveal the existing illustrations and text created by the original author and illustrator. He therefore sees his work as collaboration, combining his artistry with that of the original creator of the volume.