Saturday, April 16, 2011

Robert The: Artist's Books & "Reader's Digest"

I first encountered one of Robert The's bookguns at the Chelsea Art Museum in 2007. He transforms the book into a sculptural object where the title, written across the top, becomes very important in reference to the violent shape. Here is the process gleaned from his website:

I became reacquainted with Robert The yesterday when seeing this glorious book posted on Twitter below:

The Reader's Digest (Cake Book) (from the Walker Art Center website): " first glance looks like a generous slice of layer cake resting on a robin’s-egg blue plate. On closer examination, we notice that artist Robert The created the piece from a two-volume bound set of Reader’s Digest magazines, jigsawed into a wedge and delicately frosted with wax. It’s not just a clever take on the adage about “having one’s cake,” but also on the “ingestion”—and perhaps more important, digestion—of knowledge."

Of course this book fulfills my love of cakes as sculpture but it also incorporates destroying Reader's Digest Books! The employees of Half Price Books in Houston were thrilled when I bought hundreds of them to shred and eventually make into artworks. Though nowhere near as interesting as Robert The's sculpture, the following images indicate where my love for his books comes from.

Jacinda Russell, Water Soaked Reader's Digest, 2002/2008

Jacinda Russell, Reader's Digest Untitled #4, 2002

In trying to find more information on Robert The, I discovered this blogpost which depicts quite the collection of books as sculpture including Robert The's Britannica Book Broom below.

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