As paper-saving technology like the Kindle and other digital readers are becoming more and more popular, one has to wonder what will happen to the printed page. Artist Isaac Salazar takes outdated text books and cast-off hardcovers and turns them into gorgeous handmade sculptures.
Working exclusively with used books (unless a commission warrants otherwise), Salazar has created a series of word sculptures (featuring inspirational words such as “Dream”, “Read”, “Faith” and “Love”) through painstaking hand cutting and origami folding. Salazar is a completely self-taught artist, and at first glance his work appears to be laser cut — like artist Scott Campbell’s stacks of dollar bills — but in reality each piece takes up to two weeks to intricately fold by hand. He often plays with the title of the book, such as carving a recycle symbol in a book called “A World without Trees.”
The pieces are meant to evoke promise and inspiration. Salazar himself has taken his inspiration for his sculptures from the kitschy DIY Christmas trees made from Reader’s Digest journals in the 1960s, which were folded into a cone shape then sprayed silver or green with spray paint. Applying good old arithmetic and his trusty exacto knife, he is able to produce complex styles and fonts.
Aside from the creative outlet, Salazar is fully conscious of reducing landfill waste and recycling when creating art. He hopes that his sculptures show the world that even “art can contribute to reducing waste.”
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
Isaac Salazar’s beautifully-crafted pieces recycle outdated textbooks into breathtaking works of art.