Brian Dettmer, (born 1974) is an American ‘Altered Book’ artist of mind-bending genius. He is noted for his alteration of old books, maps, record albums, and cassette tapes—to create new, transformed works of visual fine art.
Dettmer seals and cuts into the books, exposing selected images and text to create intricate three-dimensional works that reveal new or alternative interpretations.
In college, Dettmer focused primarily on painting. When he began to work in a sign shop, his work began to explore the relationship between text, images, language, and codes, including paintings based on braille, Morse Code, and American Sign Language.
In recent years, Dettmer has augmented his artistic process by folding, bending, rolling, or stacking one or more books before sealing and cutting them or, in some instances, sanding them to create a variety of forms.
Dettmer talks about his creative Process:
“In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each layer while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose alternate histories and memories. My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”
More works by Brian Dettmer:
‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of textual art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.