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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World



Hi Everyone,
  This email thread makes me wonder - how do those of you, who are book  artists, explain what you do as book artists to non-art people? I find  myself in this situation often, particularly being a graduate student  in a book arts program, and most of my reactions are something along  the lines of "You can do that?" or that I am getting some degree in a  glorified version of scrapbooking. 
  
  I think the public when confronted with an artist book right in front  of them understands its intrinstic value, but how do you explain an  artist's book to those who've never seen one or realized they've seen  one?
  
  I think it's sad that we are misunderstood medium, and that is part of  the reason the "established art world" doesn't take us seriously. But I  think this means we need to do something about it. One of my fellow  grads has pointed out that people have no problem going into Borders'  and spending $30-$50 on a "coffee table book,"  it is up to book  artists to demand value and respect for their work by educating the  public. Which goes back to my original question, how do you all explain  what it is you do to others?
  
  Michelle
  
  

Paul Bettinson <paul.bettinson@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:  Hi Scott,

"...this reason that artist books will never be
taken as seriously as other forms of fine art by the established art
world."
I see what you mean, however, I really do think the 'established' art world
(gallery system?) take artists books seriously.  Its just that the
established art world tend to like to celebrate a much bigger profit than an
artist book can promise - unless of course it is a rare or asteemed artist
bookwork.

The "established art world" tend to navigate towards the buying and selling
of prints, photographs and commissioned sculptures than they would to a
beautifully made, conceptually stunning, artist
bookwork.

People by for their walls and floors than they do for their shelves - all
buy art for their minds but commercialism gets in the way now and again!
So, a bookwork with a hundred prints, existing as a delicately produced
half-box(?!) with several sculptural objects and ten photos and signed will
not get the full price in an established art world exhibition.

...anyway, you know what I mean.

The established, underground and reading public, I would like to think,
take artists books seriously -  noone can dismiss talent, beautiful
artworks and critical cultural content as easy as you mentioned.

with regards

Paul



On 12/30/05, Scott Teplin  wrote:
>
> It's tricky - because books often need to be more rigidly categorized
> with the need for cross referencing - unlike paintings or sculpture. I
> tend to see artist books less like literary books - and more like works
> of art. My point was, that when artist books are classified into themes
> - the most mediocre subjects always prevail. I mean - 'alphabets'?!
> What grade are we in here? It makes me wonder what audience these books
> are intended for. My guess is that they are for the same circle jerk
> crowd artist books always tend to swirl around in. I'm just saddened
> that most of the time, when I see a book arts show - its with artists
> books that are so painfully lacking in ideas. Innovative content is as
> important in art as form is, and most artist books usually ignore one
> for the other. It is for this reason that artist books will never be
> taken as seriously as other forms of fine art by the established art
> world.
>
> -Scott
>
> On Dec 30, 2005, at 11:02 AM, Lisa Beth Robinson wrote:
>
> >> It's sadly telling of the book arts world though, that under 'Find
> >> artists' books by Theme,' the categories listed are:
> >
> > Dear Scott and Community,
> >
> > what are other categories you propose?  How do you envision a
> > collection being categorized/organized?  By media and technique? Date
> > published?  Subject-theme?
> >
> > For those of us starting collections, what do you suggest as a
> > framework to use for organizing and cataloging a collection? (aside
> > from Library of Congress and OCLC)
> >
> > Take care and have a peaceful new year,
> > Lisa Beth
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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--
Paul Bettinson
Postboks 4703 Sofienberg
0506 Oslo
Norway
Tel: 0047 99534993
http://ncfab.org
---

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