Through his elegant juxtapositions, Stezaker adopts the content and contexts of the original images to convey his own witty and poignant meanings.
In his Marriage series, Stezaker focuses on the concept of portraiture, both as art historical genre and public identity. Coupling male and female identity into unified characters, Stezaker points to a disjointed harmony, where the irreconciliation of difference both complements and detracts from the whole. In his correlated images, personalities and our idealisations of them become ancillary and empty, rendered abject through their magnified flaws and struggle for visual dominance. Saatchi Gallery.
Saatchi store Now available online School visits Education Programme Saatchi gallery membership Exclusive benefits to members. Selected works by John Stezaker. Each page has the potential to generate different spatial formats, arrangements and the capturing of ideas.
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The reader needs to use their imagination. In my altered books you can go backward and forward, and spend as much time as you wish with each image, allowing them to remain open to various interpretations. The importance of the artists [altered] book, for me, is the way it allows visual thinking, a means to convey ideas rather than just being about the craft of binding.
It is about how to make a book respond to a concept. Artists [altered] books are an ever-expanding field with a wide range of approaches Selenitsch They are also a means of finding new and different ways to work, for myself as an artist. The concept of transformation becomes important — using the book to explore new images and ideas.
I find that the technique of building a palimpsest is useful for representing new ideas, and lends itself to the transformation aspect where there is a layering of text and images overwriting old text and images. Layers from the original prints or drawings come through other images creating interesting layers of surface quality. Finally, the artists [altered] book can embody the idea of a journal or journey — a record of ideas and images over time.
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Books are very portable and can travel with you: a journey through the book for the viewer. As Drucker says:.
The book remains The fact of its independent life, its capacity to go out from the shop, the house, the office, and live on its own The poetics of altered books are created through the relationship of text, size, shape and colour. As I note above, I like to choose the book for its title, and this challenges me to respond with thematically related images. The title of the book may suggest a theme or an idea so that the artwork can tell a different story from the original text, or offer a parody of the title.
Words or paragraphs in the book can be used to evoke new images.
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The book is used to create new juxtapositions of meaning, image and surface, where the original text is visible in part through the new alterations, as in the example below. In this electronic age, artists books and altered books may eventually be the only books left in the world. Although artists books are not exclusive to printmaking, their qualities make them very suitable for printmaking practices.
Which is also true of artists books in general.
The only difference is the use of a pre-existing book. Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing which may appear as words but are illegible. The focus is on an area where two creeks meet, a possible sacred site. The dominant format for her work is artists books. Prior to her research she had produced and experimented with many altered books.
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Issue 8. Materiality and Poetics. Fig 2. Fig 3.
Fig 5. Fig 6. Fig 7. Fig 8.