|American Red Cross
|Artist / Creator
|Place of Publication
|Structure / Binding
|Book excavation. Unframed and unsealed.
|5.25 x 7.75 x .625 inches
|Signed & Numbered
An altered book or "book excavation" project by James Allen using a vintage American Red Cross First Aid Textbook. This book has been left unsealed so that the pages can be flipped through to see the carving process. This is interesting as many book excavation pages are sealed to stabilize the book and make the pages inaccessible. James tells us, "This excavation was created from a book which I acquired as a gift from the head preparator at Traver Gallery in Seattle. Originally published with the Red Cross for Employees of Bell Telephone in the 50's, the First Aid Handbook is full of exquisite illustrations which use a style of stippling reminiscent of the illustrations in the Wall Street Journal today. While most first aid remains the same, I did notice that the illustrations for resuscitation recommended rolling the subject face down to apply compressions to the back instead of positioning the subject face up to apply compressions directly to the sternum as is practiced today." ABOUT BOOK EXCAVATIONS A book excavation is a sculptural work of art made by transforming various types of old books using precise cuts with a scalpel or knife, carving pages one by one until an astonishing new composition reveals itself. This almost surgical focus of dissecting books results in a wholly new object infused with a graphical history that evolves as the artist exposes each layer of the book while cutting around interesting images or text. For most artists working in this remarkable medium, the process is performed without pre-planning or mapping out the contents before cutting into the books pages and/or covers. Finished book excavations often appear as cross sections of the book, carved to create an alternate universe previously hidden between the covers.
Artist BioJames Allen was born in 1977 in Great Lakes, Illinois and currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. He earned a BFA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2000. Allen's artwork is included in Art Made From Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed published by Chronicle book (August 2013). His work was exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum in The Book Borrowers: Contemporary Artists Transforming the Book in 2009. He's also exhibited across the country in many cities including New York, Chicago, and Miami.