Skulduggery by James Allen

Out of Inventory
An altered book or "book excavation" project by James Allen. James tells us, "I opened this tome of DC Comics somewhere in the middle, laid it flat, and cut down through the pages of both the front and back covers. Through the right panel we see the distant past and as the pages go deeper we see more and more recent images. While the left panel shows the most recent images and the deeper pages reveal images from further in past. In this way the pages of the book show a condensed history of all the 75 years of DC Comics all in one vignette. I particularly like the image of the Twin Towers in the upper right portion of the left panel and how it relates to the dichotomy of good vs. evil and hero vs. villain." Check out this web page for the Taschen book used for this excavation. It's huge!   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.