I paint “ideal bookshelves”: people’s favorites of all time, within a genre or from a particular period in their lives.
We show off our books on shelves like merit badges, because we’re proud of the ideas we’ve ingested to make us who we are, and we hope to connect with others. I think this is endearing and charming. When I paint someone else’s bookshelf and they have the same book I do, I feel inordinately joyful about it, and about them.I’m also fascinated by the design of books spines. It’s such a small place for a lot of information, with very little room for distinct characteristics, even though it’s exactly what you use to identify books first.
As someone who does a lot of design work, I enjoy the process of turning graphics into “art”. And I love that a book is something created very personally and then mass-produced in order to affect many other people very personally. I group and paint them to turn them back into something very personal and intimate.