Paris-based artist/author Julie Stephen Chheng has created this charming five-volume set of little books which sequentially unfold into a full tableau based on specific themes. Each is illustrated by a different artist. My favorite is Le Cinéma because I like the drawings by Serge Bloch of patrons in their movie seats. Other themes are Le Foot (The Rugby Match), La Plage (The Beach), La Fête (The Party, illustrated by Chheng), and Le Voleur (The Thief). To see videos of the illustrations in action, visit Vimeo here.
December 21, 2014
October 30, 2014
This lovely book based on shadow play incorporates delicate paper-cut forms which, when lit from the side, cast shaped shadows onto the facing pages. As a light is moved to various positions, the shadows move, too, interacting with the illustrations to complete them in a wordless dance. Designed by Japanese artists Megumi Kajiwara and Tathuhiko Nijima, the books are made to order by hand. To see the book in action, watch this delightful video.
September 8, 2012
We thought this pop-up book by Swedish artist Andreas Johansson was quite striking. Titled From Where the Sun Now Stands it features imaginary landscapes collaged together from photographs the artist took in his neighborhood. Says the artist, “I create imaginary places that are both recognizable and completely alien. These new sites are constructions and have no history, while the places where the photographs once were taken have a very important past. For me, deserted places have a great symbolic value. They represent society’s backside, but also freedom beyond control and regulations.” To view a video of the book, visit
May 19, 2012
We thought this pop-up book by young designer Daisy Lew was worth noting for its unusual structure, combining a host of little pop-up blocks to create larger images of New York City icons: the Big Apple, a yellow taxi, the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. From one angle the pop-ups look like a city of multi-level skyscrapers, and from above you get the whole view. Check out the book on her web site at www.daisylew.com/popup.html
March 20, 2012
Traditionally, the book has been both a container of information and a physical object. With the advent of digital technology that has changed, and today some books exist only in electronic form. But physical books are still part of our world, and some artists are using them as raw material for their own expressive pieces in the fields of art and architecture. The weburbanist site has mounted a small show of twelve artists’ bookworks at various scales. We love the idea of buildings made of books, while the smaller-scale sculptural pieces are also both jarring and thought provoking. Visit the show for more images of the works by clicking here.
October 28, 2011
Brooklyn artist Ariana Page Russel has turned her medical condition into an art form. She has dermatographic urticaria that causes her skin to become raised and inflamed when scratched, rubbed, or stroked. The inflammation is painless and lasts about 30 minutes. It’s just enough time to allow the artist to photograph herself after she’s finished her skin drawing. She exhibits the photographs, and also makes collage designs and wallpaper from the photos. Apparently she can control the pink or red hues in her designs by the pressure she exerts on her skin. For more on Ariana, visit her web site, http://www.arianapagerussell.com/
April 23, 2011
Angelika Oeckl’s artwork is small—REALLY SMALL. She specializes in creating miniatures, and recently took on the challenge of creating the world’s smallest pop-up book. Starting with a reproduction copy of Franz Bonn’s 1878 German pop-up Theater Bilderbuch, she disassembled it and scanned the parts and pages into her computer to resize them. “It turned out to be much more difficult than I thought,” she says. “I had to redo it several times. Parts didn’t line up or the scene didn’t fold flat.” She finally succeeded, and she thinks this is the smallest pop-up book around—smaller than Ann Vanture’s mini reproduction of Lothar Meggendorfer’s International Circus which measures 22 mm by 21 mm.
To see more images of Angelika’s mini book, go to her Picasa Album.
April 17, 2011
The line between books, electronics, theater and animation is becoming thinner these days with the rapid development of digital readers. We’ve seen several great apps that attempt to capture the feel of a pop-up book, although the experience is not the same as the actual paper versions. Here’s another approach in which film and pop-ups retain their distinctive qualities, yet the two are joined in a beautiful, surreal way. Created by Davy and Kristen McGuire during an artist’s residency at Kuenstlerdorf Schoeppingen in Germany, this large-scale pop-up book serves as the stage set for a story told through behind-the-page video projections. Inspired by Russian fairytales, the story is of a young boy enticed into the realm of an ice princess who wants him to warm her heart. Click here to watch the video.
To read more about this project, visit their web site at http://www.theicebook.com/Behind_the_Scenes.html
April 5, 2011
Students in Carol Barton’s Sculptural Books class at the Corcoran School of Art and Design have been working hard to create pop-ups of their favorite recipes. The resulting dimensional illustrations range from main dishes such as Grilled Fish in Banana Leaves to deserts made with flavorings of lavender and lime. The recipes reflect an international cuisine typical of Washington, D.C.’s multi-national mix. And though the food here is all of paper, it looks good enough to eat.
March 16, 2011
We were first drawn to Isaac Salazar’s work with this intriguing photo in which message and medium are so wonderfully intertwined, although the irony, of course, is that folding the book’s pages makes it unreadable as is. Salazar has no training as an artist, but found his creative calling through a craft project in which old Reader’s Digest magazines were folded into Christmas trees. He wondered if other forms were possible, and obviously they are. Salazar leads a double life: an accountant by day and origami/altered book artist in his free time. Here’s a link to his Flickr bookworks gallery.
Thanks to the Typestack blog for bringing these works to our attention. If you are a typophile, check out their site: www.typestack.com