|The World We Live In
|Artist / Creator
|Place of Publication
|Structure / Binding
|Book excavation. Framed behind acrylic.
|Framed size: 29 x 21 x 2 inches. Book open: 22 x 14 x 1 inches
|Signed & Numbered
|Signed on back of frame
An altered book or “book excavation” project by James Allen. James tells us, "I was looking for a geology book to excavate when I found The World We Live In. With this book I expected to create an excavation that would illustrate the history of Earth. Once I began cutting into the pages I realized that the history of life on earth expanded to include the history of the universe. This book excavation captures the feeling of traveling through time as the universe evolves, Earth is created, and life is born. The details of plants, animals, and fungus are swirled in with the expansion of the universe and the turbulence of the planet Earth as it hurtles through a vast infinite expanse. The illustrations have a wonderful glowing light quality. The composition is balanced, dynamic, and layered. The red cover with gold letters lend a balance and stability to the expansive nature of the excavated pages. The words and phrases at the bottom of the pages help convey the beauty and mystery of life on Earth. The World We Live In captures my feeling of amazement when I contemplate the vast energies at work that came to create all the life that surrounds us." 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.