E-readers have relegated many old-fashioned books to shelves to collect dust, but thankfully there are a number of artists out there who still see the beauty of bound literature. With a bit of imagination, a keen artistic eye, and killer craftsmanship, these creatives have come up with more than a few awe-inspiring ways to turn unwanted titles into beautiful new works ready to stir hearts and minds once again. From beautiful and detailed landscapes carved into the edges of books to a spiraling Tower of Babel built 80 feet high with prose, to a bathtub lined with the words of Dickens and Chaucer, hit the jump to see 6 of our favorite works of art that made from recycled books!
In two series entitled The Great Wall and Biblios, artist Guy Laramee used vintage encyclopedias to create his epic sculptures. Laramee carefully carved away at stacked volumes to create everything from mountains to caves to a peaceful Buddha sitting atop a mound. The sculptures cleverly give new life to the unwanted tomes, and pay homage to the stories they once told.
Artist Brian Dettmer approaches his medium with the exactitude of a surgeon, using clamps, tweezers and Exacto knives to turn unused books into beautiful and intricate sculptures. Most of Dettmer’s focus is on books, favoring out of date encyclopedias, medical journals, illustration books and dictionaries.
Slovakian artist Matej Kren built this amazing Book Cell for the Modern Art Center in Lisboa. To give the structure a stable base and symmetrical shape, the artist constructed an octagonal framework, filled it with books, and then removed the frame. What was left was an enclosed room of stacked literature.
Curl up with a good book on artist Alvaro Tamarit‘s ‘Bench of Thought‘. To create this amazing piece, the artist repurposed hundreds of pieces of unwanted literature into a surprisingly ergonomic and modern seating option.
Immerse yourself in a bath of knowledge with Vanessa Mancini’s bathtub made from books. This novel idea (excuse the pun) is made almost entirely out of books, each one cut and fitted by the artist herself. Unfortunately the tub is unfinished and can’t be filled with water, but like with any good read, all you need is a bit of imagination to transform reality.
Buenos Aires was named the World Book Capital for the 2011 year, and in honor of the title, artist Marta Minujin erected a Tower of Babel using 30,000 books donated from all over the world. The modern nod reached 25 meters tall, spiraling skyward to provide fantastic views of the city.