Brian Dettmer: The Book Surgeon


Here’s an article in which our hero has his mind blown by something new and exciting, or something new and exciting!

Last month, when I got home from work I, popped open a beer and did as I usually do: check Facebook. It’s a bit of an obsessive tendency, but there it is. Everyone has their vices, no?

Anyway, the top blurb in my newsfeed is an article from Karan Arora's blog.

I had to know more.

I share with you, Lomo Community, the fruit of my research.

Brian Dettmer is an artist from Chicago working with a very interesting medium. Dettmer takes old books, “seals” them (or glues the sides), and cuts into them. While cutting into them, he isolates images and words in such a way that creates interesting visual juxtapositions.

When working with the pages of the books, Dettmer leaves the pages as they lay in the book. He does not move anything or replace anything. He only removes from the books. Once finished, the pages are set with varnish.

In his early endeavors into this style of sculpting Dettmer left the books as if they were simply closed. However, as he progressed his technique, Dettmer began bending, folding, and stacking the books prior to cutting, adding a new dimension to his art.

Dettmer has also worked with atlases, maps, animal skulls, and cassette tapes.

Dettmer’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections.

Images from My Modern Met. Information taken from Wikipedia, My Modern Met,, and Karan Arora.

written by rrohe on 2012-03-19 #books #lifestyle #sculpture #cutting #brian-dettmer #book-surgeon

One Comment

  1. ediblestrange
    ediblestrange ·

    Made me think about this recent ad campaign for a really nice library here in belgium… the work isnt as fine but still nice...

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