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Re: Cute but stupid



I'm afraid I opened a can of worms with a casual ironic comment. I was
getting tired of people's discussion about the difference/superiority of
craft versus art - art infused craft, etc. But I see that there's little
room for humor and many people have an ax to grind. So, I'm going to
"answer" some of Minsky's comments. Skip it if you're tired of all this
poop that doesn't answer one question about making books.

The future of book arts is not endangered by *anything* or *anyone*. People
will continue to make art, books and book art as long as we stay human.
Book art is not new - not 25 years old or 50 or 100. Book art has been with
us since before the baby Jesus and his gang took the codex form and used it
as a package for their brand of Judaism.

Not all modern art is good. Not all artists working today make modern art.
It's been over 50 years since the birth of modern art - a form that created
a commercially viable industry called the "art market." And a very rich
market, too. The economic success of modern art allows the rest of us to
pursue our chosen path in the art world, in the book world, etc. America
legitimizes those things that sell, and modern art has been the biggest
seller of any contemporary art scene since that big fight over tea taxes. I
am grateful to modern art as an economic force because it has legitimized
self expression in any medium that a person chooses. I don't have to like
*all* modern art to appreciate what the field has done for artists AND
craftspeople.

>25 tears ago I was up against this sort of attitude in the conservative
>world of bookbinding. Unless the craft skill was applied in a way that was
>familiar to the establishment, they couldn't see it. You had to do things
>the way they knew, or it was "bad craft" or "sloppy."

Richard, you are guilty of the same thing you accuse the traditionalist of:
If someone disagrees with your view of the book arts world, you have to
hammer them. Lighten up - there's more than one way to be a book artist.

The decisions you make are valid for your work, but they are not rules to
live by for the rest of us. Some people are more comfortable working
towards proficiency with their tools and materials, some are more
interested in just doing - without being bogged down by craft prejudice.
I'll defend everyone's right to pursue their art and craft as they please -
but I don't have to agree with them or like everything they do.

I'm here to make things - I tend to make books - and all this nattering
gets away from that, so I'll close with the wish that everyone on the list
pursue their own book arts vision.

Nicholas

Nicholas G. Yeager * Artifex Librorum * 51 Warren St. #2 * New York, NY 10007
212.346.9609 email:artifex@xxxxxxxxxxxx *** Luxury, rather than necessity
is the mother of invention - Henry Petroski *** And laziness is the father
- NGY


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