Historic Costume by James Allen - SOLD!

This Book Excavation was created using the book Historic Costume in Picture. Originally it was a soft cover, but I decided to give it a hard cover before I began the cutting into it. This is one of the rare cases where I added something to an existing book.  In the end I also decided to add some gold leaf to the inside edge of the cut cover. All of the pages lie how they were originally bound. The book includes images of men and women in historic costumes through the ages but I decided to focus on the costumes of women throughout history. It was shown in Dress Envy, a group show at Winston Wachter Fine Art, in 2010. An Image of this work is also included in Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed published by Chronicle Books.   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 Bio

James 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.