Artist Spotlight: Dr. Bob Pliny

Artist Spotlight: Dr. Bob Pliny

Dr.Bob Pliny’s unique artist books have taken the world of book arts by storm—a storm of colorful, fanciful, naive drawings and deeply felt text wrestling with concepts of philosophy and nature. His books are flying off of the shelves! Fortunately for everyone, we have recently added four fresh new books by Dr. Bob to our gallery inventory. They are just as wonderfully whimsical and clever as his previous books, and we expect them to go just as quickly. So stop by while you can to check them out.

Dr. Bob Pliny’s artwork reflects his own “encyclopedia of understanding,” which is made up of all of the memories and ideas he has compiled over his entire life. His handmade, unique artist books are created out of found book covers, book pages, wallpaper, and other recycled paper. He covers everything with acrylic, pen, ink, and occasional spots of gold leaf, combining doodles of animals, plants and clouds with faces, abstract patterns, etc. with his own text and writings exploring the nature of being.

Dr. Bob Pliny takes much of his inspiration from the Roman soldier, politician, and scholar Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as “Pliny the Elder.” Pliny the Elder is most famous for his 37-book set, On The Nature Of Things, which records the whole of Roman knowledge.

Currently in stock at 23 Sandy Gallery:

Change=Anything Can Happen Next!, which is a meditation upon the nature of change. It begins with the question, “Have you ever noticed how things are always appearing in the world and moving around and interacting with one another and transforming into other kinds of things?” and addresses matter and energy, as well as Dr. Bob Pliny’s change of mind on the fluidity of things.

Songs of Wonder and Delight focuses more on Dr. Bob Pliny’s delightful, delicate drawings than text. A short poem reads: And should you wish to apprehend/This musical existence/Observe how note-like states of things/Shape melodies from instants.” The rest of the book contains patterns reminiscent of musical scores and fold out pages with smiling doodles of plant and insect-inspired characters.

Rolling Down the Road follows a smiling car character down a road, past collaged cutouts of illustrations from a dictionary or encyclopedia, buildings with faces and big feet, happy bees and flowers. Dr. Bob Pliny describes it as an “existential travelogue.” Plain, graphite writing records the artist’s thoughts about the passage of time and life.

Come Walk in Gardens of Delight reflects Dr. Bob Pliny’s belief that true wisdom cannot be achieved unless one adopts a profound sense of delight.  The illustrations in this book literally portray a garden, with flowers and insects. One incongruous drawing depicts a car leaking exhaust. The poem at the beginning of the book implores readers to “walk in sensation.”

These descriptions hardly do Dr. Bob Pliny’s work justice. You must hold them in your hands and turn the pages to fully experience their endearing complexity.