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Re: [BKARTS] Drucker Article

This has no answer, and will continue to entertain and annoy generation
after generation.  Some people are just puff artists (excuse the pun) and
will put anything on their resume to impress or pad it out.

I matured during the heyday of "Action Painting" Pollock, DeKooning, et al.
We argued about craft and the necessity of learning how to do the basics
really well before sailing off into the non-representational.  It's the same
argument, and it will rear its head again and again.  Those who struggle to
become expert craftsmen know something that those who don't know the skills
don't know.  Knowers aren't as often frustrated in bringing a vision into an
object because they know lots of ways to do things and get around
difficulties in production.

And also, and maybe this is the most important thing of all, those of us who
have labored to learn the skills have a sense of accomplishment that those
who don't will never even guess at.


-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
Matthew Garelick
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 11:26 AM
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Drucker Article

JenniferVignone wrote:

> I have a question, does it bother anyone on the list is an artist just
> makes a book? I mean, artist John Doe, who has never made a book,
> taken a class, really looked at artists books, or book art (however
> you want to call it), makes a book. It gets into a show, and no one
> from this list is too impressed  -- maybe because the artist hired a
> book artist to sew it and therefore, didn't do it him/herself, maybe
> because it was sloppily done because they did do it themselves and
> didn't worry about the correct tools and methods, maybe because they
> called it a book and it isn't a book to you. What goes through your
> mind when you see something like that? Is it sort of like...well, once
> they bought a Mac, they all thought they were designers--my own
> personal work hell as I work in a place where everyone has become a
> critic, a designer, a usability specialist, and all around super
> artist right before my very eyes (bitter, me, yeah, okay, you got me).

I once took a drawing class at an excellent art college, and in the
teacher's bio she listed "bookarts" as one of her areas of interest.
What this turned out to mean was that she cut the covers off of old
books and painted on the doublures. I have no objection to cutting up
old books (within reason, of course), but this seemed to me to be taking
liberties with the definition of "bookarts." She was a fine illustrator
and a nice person, but not, I think, a book artist.

Having had my little rant about how she defined her work, though, I have
to admit I'd prefer a world without labels: as I imagine it, a creative
work should stand or fall on its own merits, regardless of how it is
defined. I'd even like to say that it doesn't matter to me if the
talented John Doe sewed his own binding, as long as the resulting work
successfully communicated what was in his heart when he came up with the
idea; if he is honest about it and does not call himself the binder, why
worry? After all, most of us don't make our own paper, spin our own
thread, or mix our own pigments. On some level, all of us collaborate
with other craftsmen, and that's not only OK, it's wonderful: I'll
*never* be a great paper marbler, but I believe I can take advantage of
others' skill at marbling to make beautiful objects of my own design.

And having said all that, I should note that I am an amateur, and if I
had spent 20 years learning the craft of bookbinding, and earned my
living at that excellent trade, I would probably be really annoyed by
dilletante self-described "bookartists" who can't sew worth a damn and
don't know anything about the mysteries of paper, board, and glue.

Matthew Garelick

Edelpappband / ?Millimeter? Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1,

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

Edelpappband / ?Millimeter? Binding Bind-O-Rama, Entry Deadline - October 1, 2005

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information

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