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Re: [BKARTS] Patriot act takes an artist (good!)



Right on, Jules!


> [Original Message]
> From: Jules Siegel <siegel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 6/9/2004 9:20:29 PM
> Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Patriot act takes an artist  (good!)
>
> > At least we can agree on beets.
>
> Ha ha. The point is not beets, but culturally and genetically derived
> differences in taste. This is going to be my last exchange with you in
> this thread. Be grateful for that, because I am getting a little annoyed
> with you. You don't want to be on the receiving end of anything I might
> write when really annoyed.
>
> > You know nothing of my artistic ability, so, how can you judge what I
am capable of?
>
> See my observations about your design skills toward the end of this
> message. If drinking coffee or other beverage, put cup or glass down
> first and swallow.
>
> > You know nothing of the bookbinding/book restoration capabilities of
Picasso or Pollack, yet you are sure the could do as good or better than I.
>
> I never said that. I said, "No one can do an exact duplication of
> anyone's work, but I am confident that artists with the technical skills
> of a Pollock or a Picasso could produce a very convincing imitation of
> any professionally bound book. It's a question of how much effort and
> time they wanted to put into it."
>
> Here's a little writing test for you. Fix the sentence above to
> eliminate the stylistic flaws. What's wrong with it? How should it read
> correctly? Hint: agreement of verb and subject.
>
> > I don't doubt for a minute that if I had the interest, I could do as
well as Picasso. Pollack is not worth consideration. They are only "great"
because they had great PR.
>
> You couldn't do either. You know what? You couldn't even do the PR.
> That's a subject I really know something about. Among other projects, I
> produced the publicity for the American edition of the Guinness Book oF
> World Records in 1962 when the book was still an eccentric British
> curiosity. The publisher had to cut off the clipping service because it
> got too expensive. We made AP, Time and Playboy on the same day. I also
> worked simultaneously in the Nixon and JFK campaigns.
>
> You think art PR is easy? Go try it. You can put ten million dollars
> into publicizing an artist and fall flat on your face. The PR comes from
> the artist's work. If the spark isn't there, PR is a waste of time. You
> can get temporary media breaks, but not people writing books about your
> client, much less  making movies about them long after they are dead.
>
> > Many sportsmen excel at more than one sport. Many gifted musicians play
more than one instrument well. Many artists are skilled in more than one
medium.  I can do more than bind and restore books.
>
> I'm sure you can. But talk is cheap, isn't? Show us some examples.
>
> > Why do you assume that Pollack and Picasso could excel at bookbinding?
>
> Because bookbinding (as opposed to book design) is mainly technique.
> They were both superb technicians. That's the point you can't seem to
> get about Pollock. He didn't just splatter paint on canvas. He
> constructed carefully designed images by dripping paint rather than
> using a brush. Oil painting is a very demanding technique, at least as
> rigorous as bookbinding. Anyone who has that kind of eye-hand control
> and understands how things work can take apart a book and see how to
> make a copy.
>
> > Can you show me some examples of your skill at the craft. You have
judged my ability or lack thereof.
>
> I haven't done anything like that. I am telling you that even with your
> skills you will not be able to produce a credible imitation of a Pollock
> or a Picasso in technique alone, much less be able to invent an
> individual style instantly recognizable the world over.
>
> > Now let me judge yours.
>
> See below. I'm not a competent bookbinder, however, and I don't pretend
> to be one. I am a graphic designer who makes home-made books. My
> adhesive bound paperbacks are almost perfect. But when I bind my books
> in boards, they have a decidedly rustic look, because I had to invent
> the bindings based on on my own ideas, and by taking books apart. I
> started this when I was living in places where they just about pack in
> your luggage on the heads of native bearers, so I couldn't even get
> books on bookbinding technique. I've only done a total of about six
> hardcover books, so I haven't developed the physical skills to cut and
> paste cleanly, among other failings. Nonetheless, the people who own
> them would never give them up.
>
> I don't have any bookbinding tools at all. I do everything on my kitchen
> table, using a jig made of cardboard and items such as carpenter's
> clamps. I don't know how to sew a book. I came up with the idea of
> gluing the text block and then cutting slots across the spine with a
> hand saw and then gluing heavy sewing thread into the slots and
> reinforcing the spine with gauze dipped in clear acrylic. My daughter
> later gave me a copy of Manly Bannister's "The Craft of Bookbinding" and
> I saw that I was inventing the wheel.
>
> My works are not designed to compete with yours. Nonetheless, if I
> invested in the tools and spent some time practising under the
> supervision of one of Cancun's professional bookbinders, I could produce
> a decent book, one that might even have some technical merit and would
> certainly look like a professionally bound book. You can see a hardcover
> book that I designed but did not bind myself at
> <http://www.madlaughter.com/gallery/index.html> The back is calf that I
> found in a shoe repair shop. The covers are papel amate. The photographs
> are not all that good, but I was in a hurry to send it off and just took
> them for record.
>
> Check around on the site and look at other selections from the book to
> get a feeling for my design and photography skills. I can paint and
> draw, too, but I could under no circumstances produce a Pollock or a
> Picasso. Their techniques alone are too formidable for me to master at
> this stage of my life.
>
> When it comes to graphic design, however, I have full confidence in my
> work. I'll show you an example of my typography. I challenge you to make
> an exact copy of it. The instructions are all to be found in the piece
> itself: http://www.cafecancun.com/bookarts/opentype.pdf
>
> You will not be able to do this because you don't have even minimal
> graphic design skills. Judging by your web site, you don't know anything
> about type and you don't have any of the tools to create the kind of
> typography that I do. Your web page is utterly amateur. It's just
> pathetic. If you know how to do better than that, why don't you do it?
>
> I don't like criticizing other people's work, but since you've had the
> gall to call Pollock and Picasso frauds you better be able to take it as
> well as you dish it out.
>
> Do the Picasso dove freehand. Produce a single page of type that looks
> like mine, much less several hundred complete with text and
> illustrations that look and read like the sample at
> <http://www.madlaughter.com/laughter.pdf>. Until you can do that, please
> stop playing word games with us.
>
> --
> JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1005 77501-Cancun Q. Roo Mexico
> http://www.madlaughter.com
>
> Newsroom-l, news and issues for journalists
> http://www.newsroom-l.net
>
>              ***********************************************
>
>                        Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
>          Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
>             Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
>                    ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004
>
>       Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
>              ***********************************************

             ***********************************************

                       Spring[binding]Hath Sprung
         Worldwide Springback Bind-O-Rama and Online Exhibition
            Full information at <http://www.philobiblon.com>
                   ENTRY DEADLINE -- September 1, 2004

      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
             ***********************************************



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