Monday, 16 July 2012

Book Art: Alicia Martin

This time last week, if someone had asked me to describe book art in three words, I would have said: delicate, intricate and beautiful.

Then I discovered Alicia Martín, a Madrid based artist who has taken book art to a whole new level. The beautiful still applies but the delicate and intricate have gone right out the window. Literally.


Martín's breathtaking work cannot be summed up in words, but if I had to choose one I'd go for big. Her Biografias series features three gigantic sculptures composed of thousands of books that appear to have taken on a life of their own as they explode out of the windows of buildings and cascade onto the ground beneath, with their loose pages fluttering in the breeze. These works are so powerful I can hardly believe that they are static structures. I can almost feel the force of the books bursting through the windows just by looking at these images - I can almost hear them! I am itching to see the real things.


I am no art critic but it doesn't take a discerning eye to discover meaning within these works. To me, these explosive sculptures represent the boundary-breaking effect that literature has upon individual minds, and upon society as a whole. A good book can ignite a spark within our minds, encouraging us to break free from the restrictions which enclose our imaginations and create something big, something bold, something beautiful: a work of art. The sculptures evoke the power of literature by attributing books with a physical strength as they become a force of nature in Martín's hands. And secretly, I fear, Martín's sculptures may be a projection of my own future if I do not invest in a Kindle as soon as possible!

You can visit Alicia Martín's gallery website here

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