Studio Reorganization Attempt #23

It’s time to sort or be sorted. Art or get off the pot. And the announcement of my first annual ever Tear Up a Book Today Day.


Life is passing by, the spooks of yesterday’s art projects linger in the room. I am fidgeting through box after box of ephemera, paraphernalia and googley gooks. Some of you know I recently gave away 100s of vintage Look, Life and other 1950-1960s magazines to my fellow collage artists.

Paper grows old and becomes brittle. It also mildews and spoils. The best thing to do is recreate it, either give it away or discard it. Often the magazines people gift to me come with an added bonus — an odor. I don’t have any choice but to throw these in the trash or recycling. It pains me greatly to do so but the foxing and mildew spots will only increase. The odor will only become stronger. Some objects are worth saving. Paper, though, for the most part, is created with a limited lifespan. Take paperback books. If you don’t know it, let me tell you, the paper used for printing paperbacks is meant to disintegrate. It is of inferior quality. The paperback is not cheaper than the hardcover just because of the “hardcover”. The paper used for the pages is second rate.

With that in mind, I encourage everyone to tear up a book today. Create something else from the whole that you now have. Make a piece of art, start a small fire, just enjoy the feel of ripping something apart. Books are not holy objects. They are paper. Made from wood. Destroy a book today. Do it in the name of art. Do it in the name of destruction. Just do it with you own book, don’t tear up someone else’s. And for crap’s sake, don’t go to a library and tear up a book.

The illustration above is made from recycled books and magazines. I call it “Viaduct Lizzie” in honor of my Uncle Floyd.


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