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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World

Dear James
It looks like beautiful work from what I could see on-line, and I would go back to my point in an earlier conversation that it is the intent of the artist that must be the most important factor. That integrity, inner vision, sense of purpose and meaning, or fun, desire to create, comes from somewhere not necessarily located in the same arena as museums and galleries and grants and funding...However, it has been a historical preoccupation of most artists to make a living in order to keep eating and surviving so that they can sustain their passion. I suppose that is why many early illuminated Bibles were created in monasteries. In the Islamic tradition, the artisan was held in very high esteem and there was much passionate art in the public arena. It would be nice to return to some of this "convivience" when Christian, Islamic and Jewish manuscript art was highly valued, but I guess we can't go back, only forward.
Congratulations on your wonderful work. The more examples the world has of religious passion translated into art, the more chance it has of redirecting its current channels of revenge and rage.
best regards

----- Original Message ----- From: "James Pepper" <Biblescribe@xxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 6:03 AM
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World

Scott and Judy and everyone else:
Book arts as it seems to be defined here in this forum is an innovative
method of experimental art and so it should not be hindered by
classifications, it should be allowed to be all over the place, but then again, Art in
general is afraid of innovation!
Actually the big problem with Art in general these days is the lack of
acknowledgment of the passion in the work by the artist, artists cut back
their passion to fit the art world and the art world expects no passion or the
correct forms of passion acceptable to the art world, the dismissal of anything
that is not mainstream, the fear to show anything out of the ordinary unless
it is given the nod as being imaginative and creative and exactly what the
art community will accept as "art." And especially the lack of local city
museums to show local artists, no they have to only show dead artists or people
who have been published by major publishers and are nearly dead. The Dead and
nearly Dead, perhaps they should hold funerals in museums.

Another words there is no innovation anymore unless it is approved first,
it fits a particular format or computer program or it belongs to someone who
is rich and the museum wants their collection when they die. $$$$$ No more
passion, no more risks.
Are there any artists out there willing to pick a fight with the art
world? To offend gallery owners at their core? Are they willing to take up their
passions and do the work, the scholarship to make something amazing and do
they really care if their work is classified or not? You have your
innovators out there in the book arts and then you have the mainstream, you will have
to figure out who is in it for the passion and who is in it for the
"alphabets." Who are the creators and who are not and of course we have to allow for
our standards to change over time, but when people are not doing it for the
right reasons, it shows in the work.

I have been posting updates on my illuminated manuscript of the Bible here,
which I have been making by hand since 1987, because I thought this was a
forum on book arts and not just a specific type of that art form. I have
learned a lot from the binders who post here and am interested in the skills of
these artisans. I recently saw a wonderful show of french book bindings at the
Bridwell Library at SMU.
My particular works are of the oldest type of book arts, scripture is
the original book art. Miro and Marc Chagall did it. But hey does anyone
know why they did it? It is the work of someone who is passionate about their
work and it takes the form of "book arts" but I would have done this work
whether the art form existed or not. It is a call and a way of life, it is who I
am. It is a work of scholarship, it includes an interlinear polyglot in
Greek, Latin, and English and it is a work of art with hundreds of illuminations
that have meaning to them, filled the history, and architecture, and the
flora and fauna of Texas and the Southern USA so it can be classified in many
different ways, but its best description is an illuminated manuscript of the
Bible. I have the blessings of the world's theological leaders including The
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and Pope John Paul II.

My work is classified by the Library of Congress as visual arts which can
encompass anything just as long as you can photograph it for the copyright.

My work is offensive to some, its the Bible and how in the world did
religion and art become separated? For thousands of years the idea of people
being inspired by faith fueled the creativity of art and created the greatest
works. But now that is gone. Passion, devotion, inspiration, as long as it
does not offend anyone outside of the norms of acceptable offense. The
fearless leaders of the art world are afraid of religious art, it will somehow
diminish their standing in the art world if they are seen publicly to approve of
anything religious, so its an underground movement. I thought art was in
general an underground movement. "Oh we can't show that, its Christian, someone
will complain." Its funny, they appear to be brave when "art" is political,
or when it attacks religion, that's ok, or has some other social statement
but when confronted with faith, they can't handle it, they melt. Public
galleries can't show this type of thing, one person might complain about what they
are showing and so the gallery owners run away in fear or they ask me to
change it. Yeah right. There were some here on this forum who were appalled that
Saint Johns posted an announcement of their bible as book arts. How dare
they tell of their illuminated book in an artists forum. What do bibles and book
arts have to do with each other, after all, the word "book" comes from
"biblia". Funny stuff!

You can Google search my bible at "The Pepper Bible" there is a film of my
writing the text on Easter of last year for WFAA TV.
And whether you like it or not, my Bible will be on deposit in a theological
library as an example of book arts from this time, for the next thousand

James G. Pepper
Antiquarius Domini
_biblescribe@xxxxxxxx (mailto:biblescribe@xxxxxxx)

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