Go Ahead… Judge The Books By Their Covers
The only time when it is completely acceptable to judge a book by its cover is when the book has been used as a canvas for an artist. Mike Stilkey has always been attracted to painting on old record covers, vintage paper, and yep you guessed it right… books.
This L.A. native has gained notoriety for using books to create art. He doesn’t write them, or only use their content as inspiration for a painting; he simply goes through an extensive search of which book covers have the best material, background color, thickness, etc in order to create book sculptures that would later be painted on with a particular subject. The materials are very simple: books, ink, colored pencil, and lacquer to seal off the deal.
The sculptures are surprisingly poetic, and they emit some sort of magical aura from them. They have this power to take you to a fantasy world, where books can be written on, and animals are dressed like people, and … Ok maybe I’ve gone too far imagining things, but I can’t help it that his paintings remind me a lot of the German expressionism style of the early 20th century, and dare I say characters from a Tim Burton’s movie.
Stilkey paints on book pages, watercolor paper, and he also does large scale installations aside from his famous book sculptures. I happen to think his works are delightful, and I recommend enjoying his artworks while having a nice cup of coffee while listening to Danny Elfman’s compositions done for Tim Burton’s movies specifically… It just makes the sculptures that much more magical.