Sunday, October 18, 2009

Let's Get Serious

OK, enough with the shoes and the aging mother, let's get back to Art.

So, here are five works in a series I'm calling Iconic Books. These are constructed pieces with encaustic and mixed media on wooden panels. The top panels look like open books (with some exaggerations) but have no text. The bottom panels are continuations or extensions of the visual ideas used in the top panels. (You may recognize some panels that I had in different configurations.)

These are all 21"H x 12"W x 1.5"D, on two joined wooden panels with black rubber strips and tacks on the sides instead of frames.




Tale of Shadows








Phantom Story







Redacted





Primal Memory







Bound Up


I began this work thinking about the way memory loss takes away content and eventually even removes form, but then I realized that books themselves are becoming artifacts and iconic forms as digital media takes over content. No matter how much easier it is to read on Kindle, nothing will take the place of a real book in the hand - the smell, the feel, all the surfaces of the cover to be explored, and the physical interaction with the pages. This physicality of the book as object can't be duplicated electronically. We're talking dimensionality here, not pixels.

11 comments:

The Artist Within Us said...

Beautiful representations artwork on books.

As you list the various aspects between a reader and a a book, one aspect that is just as important as those listed is the typographical design of its pages and the words of the author.

Unfortunately today, many publishers choose not to have books typeset where a graphic designer copy fits the text so that spacing between letters and words does not vary.

Obviously I love books and your series touches me deeply.

Thank you for sharing
Egmont

Leslie Avon Miller said...

the memory of books - I hope we always have physical books!
This is a fabulous and rich series Nancy.

Mary Buek said...

Nancy, I just took a look at your website. I love the front page of it. Yummy. And these five encaustics are fantastic. What an imagination you have to use such diverse materials. I love the color pallette you used and the orderliness of them appeals to me. I can't imagine a world without real books and I doubt it will happen as long as there are Luddites like me still around. But a thought-provoking premise nontheless. Thanks for sharing.

Kim Hambric said...

Art is more than food for the eyes. I see your work and I feel it in my stomach. I once told this to an artist whose work I loved -- she gave me quite a strange look. I can't imagine how I would feel seeing your work in person.

Aside from my family, the most important "things" in my home are art and books. I can't say which enjoy more. The art I love the most is filled with texture. And since I have purchased it, I am free to touch it as I wish. I do the same with books. The book I am reading now, "Life with Picasso", was purchased used solely because of the beauty of its cream burlap cover. The aged pages are a beautiful color and feel wonderful to touch. It smells wonderful too. And it even makes for good reading. When I am done, I will display the book where I can look at it every day.

Wonderful work!

Kindle will never make it into my home. Nor a cheap, flat, badly-colored print.

Nancy Natale said...

Thank you so much for your comments, Egmont, Leslie, Mary and Kim. I appreciate your thoughts about my work and about the importance of books.

Books, like art, are such so important to culture and the carrying forward of ideas and emotions. I have always loved them since I learned to read as a first grader and found it magical that marks on a page could convey meaning.

I'll never forget the Twilight Zone episode of the man who loved books more than people and was overjoyed to be the last man on earth when he found a huge library that he alone would be able to peruse without interruption. And then he dropped his glasses and stepped on them so that he was unable to see well enough to read.

I imagine that losing one's memory is like that. The books are there but the meaning they hold can't be accessed. The books just become objects and sources of frustration.

Alicia Hunsicker said...

Oh Nancy, this work is again...Fantastic!
Thank you for sharing it.
~ ALicia

Margaret Ryall said...

Everyone else have used up all my other adjectives... This is brilliant work. I love the concept and the execution of it.

Gwendolyn Plunkett said...

You just get better and better!
Don't know which is my favorite. All.

Nancy Natale said...

Hi Alicia, Margaret and Gwen. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for this work. I appreciate it!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

As always, visiting your site and viewing your work is a stimulating and rich experience. I concur with others who commented on the experience of holding and reading from a book, digital will never replace that experience.

Ro Bruhn said...

These are fabulous, they have a very Japanese look about them