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Book autopsies
Bella
ellen_datlow
As a book lover and collector, I have very mixed feelings about Brian Dettmer's art: he carves into books revealing the artwork inside, creating complex layered three-dimensional sculptures.

Book Autopsies


Yes, the results are sometimes gorgeous and always interesting, but I feel badly about the books he defaces --which include a book of Rembrandt's Paintings.

I'm not being a smartaleck when I say this, but is it okay if the books were already damaged or otherwise open for this sort of work? (I feel the same way about fossils, and I have no problems with similar work done with very common or very damaged specimens that wouldn't have a particular value otherwise. Seeing ammonites cut in half and etched to highlight the anatomical detail is just the beginning.)

I know you're not. Sure, I guess it would be fine. And the use of very bad old novels (he does work with only text) wouldn't bother me very much. Art dealers sometimes cut up books and sell the illustrations/art inside for a lot of money. While I think it's awful that they've destroyed the books (which may or may not have been damaged beyond repair), that wouldn't prevent me from buying such a piece of art (I've done so)--and I could see buying one of Dettmer's pieces--which is why I have mixed feelings.

I have no problem with ammonite jewelry and I love fossils.

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