One of the things I miss about having a physical gallery space is watching folks interact with artist books. I used to sit at my desk in the gallery and spy on people. Not for nefarious reasons, of course. It was all in the name of art.
You see, it’s fascinating to watch how viewers enter into a book. How they follow the sequence and flow of a book. How they interact with the content. Did the artist achieve what they were hoping to with the combination of structure and materials and did they achieve their intention for leading the viewer through the book?
Then there is that light bulb moment when a viewer “gets it.” They connect with the book and their face lights up. That decisive moment was especially interesting in a retail gallery space where so many people were unfamiliar with the power of artist books.
The Fortune Teller, a limited edition artist book by Malini Gupta, was one of the best books ever for watching that light bulb moment. Most people picked up this book and said, “Oh! A cootie catcher. I used to make days when I was young.” But then, they read the text and their faces fall and sometimes tears fall as well. With this book Malini uses a playful structure to draw you into her very serious content. She uses this trick as a powerful way to tell difficult story.
For Malini, who grew up in India, “The fortune teller is designed in beautiful patterns to entice the viewer to interact with it but also to camouflage the darkness it holds – the darkness of a child being sexually abused and a family choosing to ignore it.” Malini made this book before the #MeToo movement, which makes it even more poignant today.
And now for the good news: Malini recently found last three copies of this edition that we thought was sold out. You can order your copy today at the link above.