KnownUnknown by Sha Towers

KnownUnknown was born out of a decades-long journey to uncover the story of my paternal grandfather. Given up for adoption at the age of nine and vanishing from my father's life before he ever had a chance to know him, he is known to me only through fragmentary details and a few photos. This work explores the fragmented realities wherein the people around us can be, at the same time, both known and unknown. Pairing glimpses of the grandfather I never knew and glimpses of people known through social media, the work illuminates the dichotomy of knowing intimate details of someone while at the same time knowing little or nothing of substance about them. While the work has clear family history connections for me personally, my hope is that in paralleling the personal with the ubiquity of social media, more universal themes will surface reflection on identity, belonging, and the constant juxtaposition of the known and the unknown.

Artist Bio

Sha Towers is the Fine Arts Librarian at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and curator of the Baylor Book Arts Collection. He first encountered artist's books in 2007, promptly fell in love with them, and immediately began building a collection for his institution, which now numbers about 700 works. He has been active in promoting book artists and their work with art students and studios and introducing artist's books to disciplines outside the arts.